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Tiqqun 


Preliminary Materials For a 

Theory of the Young-Girl 


semiotext(e) 
intervention 
series □ 1 2 






Preliminary Materials For a 


Theory of the Young-Girl 



SEMIOTEXT (E) INTERVENTION SERIES 
© Tiqqun 

This translation © 2012 by Semiotext(e) 

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, 
stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted by any means, elec- 
tronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, 
without prior permission of the publisher. 

Published by Semiotext(e) 

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www.semiotexte.com 

Thanks to Robert Dewhurst, John Ebert, Joshua Jordan, 

John Kelsey, Jason Smith, Sarah Wang and Noura Wedell. 

Design: Hedi El Kholti 

ISBN: 978-1-58435-108-5 

Distributed by The MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass. 

and London, England 

Printed in the United States of America 


10 98765432 



Tiqqun 


Preliminary Materials For a 

Theory of the Young-Girl 


Translated by Ariana Reines 


semiotext(e) 
intervention 
series □ 12 




Contents 


Preliminaries 11 

1. The Young-Girl as Phenomenon 23 

2. The Young-Girl as Technique of the Self 48 

3. The Young-Girl as Social Relation 62 

4. The Young-Girl as Commodity 74 

5. The Young-Girl as Living Currency 88 

6. The Young-Girl as Compact Political Apparatus 97 

7. The Young-Girl as War Machine 105 

8. The Young-Girl Against Communism 114 

9. The Young-Girl Against Herself 121 

10. Putting an End to the Young-Girl 


131 




I did love you once. 

Hamlet 




PRELIMINARIES 


I 

Behind the hypnotic grimace of official pacifica- 
tion there is a war being waged. A war that can 
no longer merely be called economic, social, or 
humanitarian. It has become total. Although 
everyone senses that their existence has become a 
battlefield upon which neuroses, phobias, soma- 
tizations, depression, and anxiety each sound a 
retreat, nobody has yet really grasped what is 
happening or what is at stake. Paradoxically, it is 
the total nature of this war — total in its means 
no less than its ends — that has allowed it to 
remain invisible. 

Rather than open offensives, Empire prefers 
more intricate methods, chronic preventative 
measures, the molecular diffusion of constraint 
into everyday life. Here, internal police conveniendy 


11 



takes over for general policing, individual self- 
control for social control. Ultimately, it’s the 
omnipresence of the new police that has made the 
war undetectable. 


II 

What is at stake in the current war are forms-of- 
life, which is to say, for Empire, their selection, 
management, and attenuation. The stranglehold of 
Spectacle over the public expression of desires, the 
biopolitical monopoly on all medical power- 
knowledge, the restraints placed on all deviance by 
an army ever better-equipped with psychiatrists, 
coaches, and other benevolent “facilitators,” the 
aesthetico-police booking of each individual 
according to her/his biological determinations, the 
ever more imperative and detailed surveillance of 
behavior, the proscription by common accord 
against “violence,” all this enters into the anthro- 
pological project, or rather the anthropo technical 
project of Empire. It is a matter of profiling citizens. 

Evidently, impeding the expression of forms-of- 
life — forms-of-life not as something that would 
mold a material from the outside, material that 
would otherwise remain formless, “bare life,” but 
rather as that which affects every body-in-situation 
with a certain tendency, an intimate motion — does 
not result from a pure politics of repression. A 


1 2 / Theory of the feung-Giii 



whole imperial project of diversion, interference, 
and polarization of bodies centered on absences 
and impossibilities is at work. The impact is less 
immediate but also more durable. Over time, and 
via so many combined effects, THEY ultimately 
obtain the desired disarmament — in particular 
zwzwzzzwo-disarmament — of bodies. 

The vanquished in this war are not so much 
citizens as those who, denying its reality, have 
capitulated from the outset: what THEY allow the 
vanquished, in the guise of “existence,” is now 
nothing but a lifelong struggle to render oneself 
compatible with Empire. But for the others, for us, 
every gesture, every desire, every affect encounters, 
at some distance, the need to annihilate Empire 
and its citizens. A question of letting passions 
breathe in their fullness. Following this criminal 
path, we have the time; nothing obliges us to seek 
out direct confrontation. That would be proof of 
weakness. Assaults will be launched, however, 
assaults which will be less important than the posi- 
tion from which they originate, for our assaults 
undermine Empire’s forces just as our position 
undermines its strategy. Accordingly, the more 
Empire will seem to be accumulating victories, the 
deeper it will bury itself in defeat, and the more 
irremediable the defeat will be. Imperial strategy 
consists first of organizing the blindness of forms- 
of-life and their illiteracy when it comes to ethical 


Preliminaries / 1 3 



differences, of rendering the battlefield difficult 
to distinguish if not invisible, and in the most 
critical cases, of masking the real war in all manner 
of false conflicts. 

Retaking the offensive for our side is a matter of 
making the battlefield manifest. The figure of the 
Young-Girl is a vision machine conceived to this 
effect. Some will use it to account for the massive 
character of hostile occupation forces in our 
existences, others, more vigorous, will use it to 
determine the speed and direction of their 
advance. What each of us does with this vision 
machine will show what we’re worth. 

Ill 

Listen: The Young-Girl is obviously not a gendered 
concept. A hiphop nightclub player is no less a 
Young-Girl than a beurette' tarted up like a porn- 
star. The resplendent corporate advertising retiree 
who divides his time between the Cote d’Azur and 
his Paris office, where he still likes to keep an eye on 
things, is no less a Young-Girl than the urban 
single woman too obsessed with her consulting 
career to notice she’s lost fifteen years of her life to 
it. And how could we account, if the Young-Girl 
were a gendered concept, for the secret relationship 


* Slang for a French woman of North African descent. 


1 4 / Theory of the Young-Girl 



between ultratrendy musclebound Marais homos 
and the Americanized petit-bourgeoisie happily 
settled in the suburbs with their plastic families? 

In reality, the Young-Girl is simply the model 
citizen as redefined by consumer society since World 
War I, in explicit response to the revolutionary 
menace. As such, the Young-Girl is a polar figure, 
orienting, rather than dominating, outcomes. 

At the beginning of the 1920s, capitalism realized 
that it could no longer maintain itself as the 
exploitation of human labor if it did not also colo- 
nize everything that is beyond the strict sphere of 
production. Faced with the challenge from socialism, 
capital too would have to socialize. It had to create 
its own culture, its own leisure, medicine, urbanism, 
sentimental education and its own mores, as well as 
a disposition toward their perpetual renewal. This 
was the Fordist compromise, the Welfare-State, 
family planning: social-democratic capitalism. For 
a somewhat limited submission to labor, since 
workers still distinguished themselves from their 
work, we have today substituted integration 
through subjective and existential conformity, that 
is, fundamentally, through consumption. 

The formal domination of Capital has become 
more and more real. Consumer society now seeks 
out its best supporters from among the marginalized 
elements of traditional society — women and youth 
first, followed by homosexuals and immigrants. 


Preliminaries / 1 5 



To those who were minorities yesterday, and who 
had therefore been the most foreign, the most spon- 
taneously hostile to consumer society, not having yet 
been bent to the dominant norms of integration, the 
latter ends up looking like emancipation. “Young 
people and their mothers,” recognized Stuart Ewen, 
“had been the social principles of the consumer 
ethic.” Young people, because adolescence is the 
“period of time with none but a consumpuve 
relation to civil society” (Stuart Ewen, Captains of 
Consciousness ). Women, because it is the sphere of 
reproduction, over which they still reign, that must 
be colonized. Hypostasized Youth and Femininity, 
abstracted and recoded into Youthitude and 
Femininitude, find themselves raised to the rank of 
ideal regulators of the integration of the Imperial 
citizenry. The figure of the Young-Girl combines 
these two determinations into one immediate, 
spontaneous, and perfecdy desirable whole. 

The tomboy comes to impose herself as a 
modernity more stunning than all the stars and 
starlets that so rapidly invaded the globalized 
imaginary. Albertine, encountered on the seawall 
of a resort town, arrives to infuse her casual and 
pansexual vitality into the crumbling universe of 
Marcel Proust’s In Search of Lost Time. The school- 
girl lays down the law in Witold Gombrowicz’s 
Ferdydurke. A new figure of authority is born and 
she outclasses them all. 


16 / Theory of the Young-Girl 



IV 


At the present hour, humanity, reformatted by the 
Spectacle and biopolitically neutralized, still 
thinks it’s fooling someone by calling itself “citi- 
zen.” Women’s magazines breathe new life into a 
nearly-hundred-year-old wrong by finally offering 
their equivalent to males. All the old figures of 
patriarchal authority, from statesmen to bosses 
and cops, have become Young-Girlified, every last 
one of them, even the Pope. 

Among its many signs, we recognize that the new 
physiognomy of Capital, only an inkling in the 
interwar years, has now attained perfection. “Once 
its fictive character is generalized, the ‘anthropomor- 
phosis’ of Capital becomes a fait-accompli. Then the 
mysterious spell is revealed, thanks to which the 
generalized credit that rules every exchange (from 
banknotes to mortgage payments, from labor or 
marriage contracts to ‘human and familial relations, 
from education and the diplomas and careers that 
follow, to the promises of all ideologies: all exchanges 
are now exchanges of dilatory appearance) strikes 
with the image of its uniform emptiness the ‘heart of 
darkness’ of every ‘personality’ and every ‘character.’ 
This is how Capital’s people increase, just when 
every ancestral distinction seems to be disappearing 
and every specificity of class or ethnicity. It’s a fact 
that doesn’t cease to amaze that the naive, who still 


Preliminaries / 1 7 



think’ with their gaze lost in the past” (Giorgio 
Cesarano, Chronicle of a Masked Ball). The 
Young-Girl appears as the culminating point of 
this anthropomorphosis of Capital. The process of 
valorization, in the imperial phase, is no longer 
simply capitalist: IT COINCIDES WITH THE SOCIAL. 
Integration into this process, which is no longer 
distinct from integration into imperial “society” 
and which no longer rests on any “objective” base, 
requires that every person permanently self-valorize. 

Society’s final moment of socialization, Empire, 
is thus also the moment when each person is called 
upon to relate to themselves as value, that is, 
according to the central mediation of a series of 
controlled abstractions. The Young-Girl would 
thus be the being that no longer has any intimacy 
with herself except as value, and whose every activity, 
in every detail, is directed to self- valorization. At 
each moment, she affirms herself as the sovereign 
subject of her own reification. The unquestionable 
character of her power, all of the crushing assurance 
of this flattened being, woven exclusively by the 
conventions, codes, and representations fleetingly 
in effect, all the authority that the least of her 
gestures incarnates, all of this is immediately 
indexed to her absolute transparency to “society.” 

Precisely because of her nothingness, each of 
her judgments carries the imperative weight of the 
entire social order, and she knows it. 


18 / Theory of the Young-Gin 



V 


The theory of the Young-Girl does not simply 
emerge fortuitously when the genesis of the imperial 
order is complete and begins to be apprehended 
as such. That which emerges is nearing its end. 
And in its turn the Young-Girl party will have to 
break up. 

As the Young-Girlist formatting becomes more 
widespread, competition hardens and the satisfac- 
tion linked to conformity wanes. A qualitative 
jump becomes necessary; it becomes urgent to 
equip oneself with new and unheard-of attributes: 
One must move into some still-virgin space. 
Hollywood sorrow, the political consciousness of 
TV news, vague neo-Buddhist spirituality, or an 
engagement in some consciousness-soothing 
collective enterprise should do the trick. Thus is 
born, bit by bit, the organic Young-Girl. The 
struggle for the survival of Young-Girls is from 
then on identified with the necessity to overcome 
the industrial Young-Girl, with the necessity to 
move on to the organic Young-Girl. Contrary to 
her predecessor, the organic Young-Girl no longer 
displays the urge for some kind of emancipation, 
but rather a high-security obsession with conservation. 
For Empire has been undermined at its founda- 
tions and must defend itself against entropy. Having 
attained the fullness of its hegemony, it can now 


Preliminaries / 1 9 



only collapse. The organic Young-Girl would 
thus become responsible, ecological, “in solidarity,” 
maternal, reasonable, “natural,” respectful, more 
self-controlled than falsely liberated, in a word, 
fiendishly biopolitical. She would no longer mimic 
excess, but rather, moderation in all things. 

As we see, when the evidence of the Young- 
Girl attains the force of cliche, the Young-Girl is 
already out of date, at least in her primitive aspect 
of obscenely sophisticated mass production. It is 
at this critical moment of transition that we enter 
the fray. 


VI 

So as not to give a false impression — which could 
well be our intention — the jumble of fragments 
that follows does not in any way constitute a theory. 
These are materials accumulated by chance 
encounter, by frequenting and observing Young- 
Girls: pearls extracted from magazines, expressions 
gleaned out of order under sometimes dubious 
circumstances. They are assembled here under 
approximate rubrics, just as they were published in 
TIQQUN 1 ; there was no doubt they needed a little 
organization. The choice to expose these elements 
in all their incompleteness, in their contingent 
original state, in their ordinary excess, knowing 
that if polished, hollowed out, and given a good 


20 / Theory of the Young-Girl 



trim they might together constitute an altogether 
presentable doctrine, we have chosen — just this 
once — trash theory. The cardinal ruse of theoreti- 
cians resides, generally, in the presentation of the 
result of their deliberations such that the process of 
deliberation is no longer apparent. We figure that, 
faced with Bloomesque fragmentation of attention, 
this ruse no longer works. We have chosen a different 
one. In these scattered fragments, spirits attracted 
to moral comfort or vice in need of condemning 
will find only roads leading nowhere. It is less a 
question of converting Young-Girls than of 
mapping out the dark corners of the fractalized 
frontline of Young-Girlization. And it is a question 
of furnishing arms for a struggle, step-by-step, 
blow-by-blow, wherever you may find yourself. 


Preliminaries / 21 





1 


THE YOUNG-GIRL AS PHENOMENON 


The Young-Girl is old insofar as she is known to be 
young. There is therefore no question for her of bene- 
fiting from this reprieve, which is to say of committing 
the few reasonable excesses, of experiencing the few 
“adventures” expected of people her age, and all this 
with an eye to the moment when she will have to 
settle down into the ultimate void of adulthood. 
Thus, during the time it takes for youth to decay, 
social law contains its own violations, which are in 
the end just exemptions. 

The Young-Girl is obsessed with 
authenticity because it’s a lie. 

The masculine Young-Girl is paradoxical in that she's 
the product of a sort of "alienation by contagion." 
Although the feminine Young-Girl appears as the 
incarnation of a certain alienated masculine imaginary. 


23 



there is nothing imaginary about the alienation of 
this incarnation. It is altogether concretely that she 
has eluded those whose fantasies she populates in 
order to face and dominate them. As the Young-Girl 
emancipates herself, blossoms, and multiplies, the 
dream turns into an all-consuming nightmare. It's at 
this point that her former slave returns to tyrannize 
yesterday's master. In the end, we witness an ironic 
epilogue in which the "male sex" becomes both the 
victim and the object of its own alienated desire. 




The Young-Gi rl is the figure of the total and 
sovereign consumer; she carries herself as 
such i n every domai n of exi stence. 

The Young- Girl knows so very well the value of things. 

Often, before her decay has become too obvious, 
the Young-Girl gets married. 

The Young-Girl is only good for consuming, 
pleasure or work, it doesn’t matter. 

The intimacy of the Young-Girl, 
now equivalent to all intimacy, 
has become something anonymous 
and exterior, an object. 

The Young-Girl never creates anything; 
All in all, she only recreates herself. 


24 / Theor,' of the Young-Girl 



By investing young people and women with an 
absurd symbolic surplus value, by making them the 
exclusive carriers of the two new kinds of esoteric 
knowledge proper to the new social order — con- 
sumption and seduction — -Spectacle has effectively 
emancipated the slaves of the past, but it has eman- 
cipated them as slaves. 

The most extreme banality of the Young-Girl 
is to take her/himself for an original. 

The stunted quality of the Young-Girl's language, 
although it implies an incontestable narrowing of the 
field of experience, in no way constitutes a practical 
handicap, because it was not made to talk with, but 
rather to please and to repeat. 

Chatter, curiosity, equivocation, hearsay, the 
Young-Girl incarnates the fullness of improper 
existence, whose categories Heidegger identified. 

The Young -Girl Li a lie 
whode apogee id the face. 

When Spectacle’s proclaims that woman is the 
future of man, it is naturally speaking of the 
Young-Girl, and the future it predicts recalls only 
the worst cybernetic slavery. 


The Young-Girl as Phenomenon / 25 



“No kidding!” 


The Young-Girl manages to live with a dozen 
unarticulated concepts, as her only philosophy, that 
immediately become moral categories, meaning 
that the whole of her vocabulary can be definitively 
reduced to the Good/Evil binary. It goes without 
saying that, in order to consider the world, it must 
be sufficiently simplified, and in order to permit 
her to live in it happily, the world must make many 
martyrs, starting with herself. 

“Highly visible physical imperfections, even if 
they have no effect on aptitude for work, weaken 
people socially, transforming them into the 
involuntary invalids of work.” 

(Dr. Julius Moses, Afa-Bundeszeitung, Februrary 1929) 

In the Young-Girl, what is sweetest is also the 
cruelest, what is most “natural” is most feigned, 
what is most “human” is most machine-like. 

Adolescence is a recent category 
created according to the demands 
of mass consumption. 

The Young-Girl invariably calls “happiness” 
everything to which THEY chain her. 


26 / Theory of the Young-Girl 



The Young-Girl is never simply sad, she is also 
sad that she’s sad. 

Ultimately, the Young-Girl’s ideal is 
domestic. 

Bloom is the crisis of classic sexuation and the 
Young-Girl is the offensive by which market 
domination has responded to this crisis. 

There is no more chastity in the Young-Girl 
than there is debauchery. The Young-Girl simply 
lives as a stranger to her desires, whose coherence 
is governed by her market-driven superego. The 
ennui of abstraction flows into this come. 

There is nothing, neither poetry nor ethnology, 
neither Marxism nor metaphysics, that the 
Young-Girl cannot fit into the closed horizon of 
her vapid quotidian. 

“Albertine comes from nowhere , and is very modem in that 
way: she flutters, comes and goes, from her absence of 
attachments she derives the instability and the unpredictable 
quality which give her her power of freedom’’ (Jacques 
Dubois, For Albertine: Proust and the Sense of the Social). 

When it addresses itself distinctly to the Young- 
Girl, the Spectacle is not above a bit of bathmology. 
This is why the entire significance of boy-bands and 


The Young-Girl as Phenomenon / 27 



girl-bands comes from making a show of the very 
fact of making a show. The lie consists, here — by 
means of crude irony — in presenting as a lie what is 
on the contrary the truth of the Young-Girl. 

The Young-Girl is struck by sudden vertigo 
whenever the world stops revolving 
around her. 

The Young-Girl sees herself as the holder of a sacred 
power: the power of commodities. 

“I love children. They’re beautiful, 
honest, and they smell good.” 

The mother and the whore, as Weininger understands 
them, are equally present in the Young-Girl. But the 
one hardly renders her any more worthy of praise 
than the other makes her worthy of blame. In fact, 
over time, a curious reversibility between the two 
can be observed. 

The Young-Girl is fascinating in the manner of 
all things that exhibit a closing-in-on-themselves, a 
mechanical self-sufficiency or an indifference to the 
observer, like the insect, the infant, the automaton, or 
Foucault’s pendulum. 

Why must the Young-Girl always feign 
some activity or other? 
To remain Unassailable in her 

passivity. 


28 / Theory of the Young-Girl 



The “freedom” of the Young-Girl rarely goes beyond the 
ostentatious cult of the most pathetic of the Spectacle’s 
productions. Essentially, it consists in opposing a lack of 
zeal with the necessities of alienation. 

THE FUTURE OF THE YOUNG-GIRL THE NAME OF A GROUP OF 
“COMMUNIST” GIRLS. ORGANIZED IN THE SOUTHERN SUBURBS 
OF PARIS IN 1936 FOR THE “ ENTERTAINMENT, EDUCATION. AND THE 
DEFENSE OF THEIR INTERESTS." 

The Young-Girl wants to be desired without 
love or loved without desire. There is no threat, 

in either case, to her unhappiness. 

The Young-Girl 

has love STORIES. 

It is enough to recall what she classifies as “adventure” 
to get a good idea of just how much the Young-Girl 
fears the possible. 

The old age of the Young-Girl is no less hideous 
than her youth. From one end to the other, her 
life is nothing but a progressive shipwreck in 
formlessness, and never an irmption of becoming. 
The Young-Girl wallows in the limbo of time. 

As for the face of the Young-Girl, differences in age, 
like difference in gender, are insignificant. There is no 


Tiie Young-Girl as Phenomenon / 29 



age to be struck by youthitude, nor is there a gender that 
forbids itself a dash of femininitude. 

Just like the magazines THEY intend for her 
and which she devours so painfully, the life 
of the Young-Girl is divided and organized 
into so many columns, between which the 
greatest separation reigns. 

THE YOUNG'GIRL IS THAT WHICH, BEING 
ONLY THIS, SCRUPULOUSLY OBEYS THE 
AUTHORITARIAN DISTRIBUTION OF ROLES. 

Love for the Young- Girl 
is just autism for two. 

What they continue to call virility is nothing more 
than the infantilism of men and femininity the 
infantilism of women. Moreover, perhaps one 
ought to speak of virilism and of “feminism” when 
so much voluntarism is mixed into the acquisition 
of an identity. 

The same disabused stubbornness that characterized 
the traditional woman, assigned to the home with 
the duty of ensuring survival, blossoms, at present, 
in the Young-Girl, now emancipated from the 
domestic sphere and from all sexual monopoly. She 
will from now on express herself everywhere: in 
her irreproachable affective impermeability at 


30 / Theory of Tie Young-Girl 



work, in the extreme rationalization she imposes 
on her “emotional life,” in her every step, so 
spontaneously military, in the way she fucks, 
carries herself, or taps away on her computer— 
which is no different from the way she washes her car. 

“One piece of information that I obtain in a well- 
known Berlin department store is particularly 
instructive: ‘When taking on sales and office staff,’ 
says an influential gentleman from the personnel 
department, ‘we attach most importance to a pleasant 
appearance.’ From a distance he looks a bit like 
Reinhold Schunzel in early films. I ask him what he 
understands by ‘pleasant’ — saucy or pretty. ‘Not exactly 
pretty. What’s far more crucial is . . . oh, you know, a 
morally pink complexion.’ 

I do know. A morally pink complexion — this com- 
bination of concepts at a stroke renders transparent the 
everyday life that is fleshed out by window displays, 
salary-earners, and illustrated papers. Its morality must 
have a pink hue, its pink a moral grounding. That is 
what the people responsible for selection want. They 
would like to cover life with a varnish concealing its 
far-from-rosy reality. But beware, if morality should 
penetrate beneath the skin, and the pink be not quite 
moral enough to prevent the eruption of desires! The 
gloom of unadorned morality would bring as much 
danger to the prevailing order as a pink that began to 
flare up immorally. So that both may be neutralized, 


The Young-Girl as Phenomenon / 31 



they are tied to one another. The same system that 
requires the aptitude test also produces this nice, 
friendly mixture; and the more rationalization pro- 
gresses, the more the morally pink appearance gains 
ground. It is scarcely too hazardous to assert that in 
Berlin a salaried type is developing, standardized in 
the direction of the desired complexion. Speech, 
clothes, gestures, and countenances become assimilated 
and the result of the process is that very same pleasant 
appearance, which with the help of photographs can 
be widely reproduced. A selective breeding that is 
carried out under the pressure of social relations, and 
that is necessarily supported by the economy through 
the arousal of corresponding consumer needs. 

Employees must join in, whether they want to or 
not. The rush to the numerous beauty salons springs 
partly from existential concerns, and the use of cosmetic 
products is not always a luxury. For fear of being 
withdrawn from use as obsolete, ladies and gentlemen 
dye their hair, while forty-year-olds take up sports to 
keep slim. ‘How Can I Become Beautiful?’ runs the title 
of a booklet recently launched on to the market; the 
newspaper advertisements for it say that it shows ways 
‘to look young and beautiful both now and forever.’ 
Fashion and economy work hand in hand. Most people, 
of course, are in no position to consult a specialist. They 
fall prey to quacks or have to make do with remedies as 
cheap as they are dubious. For some time now the 
above-mentioned deputy Dr. Moses has been fighting 


32 / Theory of !he Young ■Girl 



in their interest in parliament, for incorporating proper 
provision for disfigurement into social security. The 
young Working Community of Cosmetic Practitioners 
of Germany has associated itself with this legitimate 
demand” (Siegfried Kracauer, The Salaried Masses: Duty 
and Distraction in Weimar Germany , 1930). 

The loss of metaphysical direction is not distinct, 
in the Young-Girl, from the “loss of the sensory" 
(Arnold Gehlen) in which the extreme modernity 
of her alienation is verified. 

The Young-Girl moves in the oblivion of Being, 
no less than in that of the event. 

The incompressible agitation of the Young-Girl, in 
the image of this society at its every point, is 
governed by the hidden demand to render effective 
a false and pathetic metaphysics, whose most 
immediate substance is the negation of the passage 
of time, and the obscuring of human finitude. 

The Young-Girl 

RESEMBLES HER PHOTO. 

Insofar as her appearance entirely exhausts 
her essence, as her representation does her 
reality, the Young-Girl is that which is 
entirely expressible, perfectly predictable, 
and absolutely neutralized. 


The Young-Girl as Phenomenon /33 



The Young-Girl exists only in proportion to the 
desire that THEY have for her, and knows herself 
only by what THEY say she is. 

The Young-Girl appears as the product and the 
principal outcome of the formidable surplus crisis 
of capitalist modernity. She is the proof and the 
support of the limitless pursuit of the process of 
valorization when the process of accumulation 
proves limited (by the limits of the planet itself, 
ecological catastrophe, or social implosion). 

The Young-Girl is content to cover over 
with a falsely provocative hidden sense the 
actual economic sense of her motivations. 

All the freedom of movement the Young-Girl 
enjoys in no way prevents her from being a prisoner, 
from manifesting, in every circumstance, the 
automatisms of the shut-in. 

The way to be the Young-Girl is to be nothing. 

Managing to “succeed in her sentimental 
and professional life at the same time”: 
certain Young-Girls proclaim this as an 
ambition worthy of respect. 

The “love” of the Young-Girl is just a 
word in the dictionary. 


34 / Theory of the Young-Girl 



The Young-Girl requires not only 

that you protect her, 

she also wants the power to educate you. 

The eternal return of the same styles in 
fashion is enough to convince: The Young- 
Girl does not play with appearances. It is 
appearances that play with her. 

Even more than the feminine Young-Girl, the mas- 
culine Young-Girl, with his fake muscles, absurdity, 
which is to say, suffering, in what Foucault called 
“the discipline of bodies”: “Discipline increases the 
forces of the body (in economic terms of utility) and 
diminishes these same forces (in political terms of 
obedience). In short, it dissociates power from the 
body; on the one hand, it turns it into an ‘aptitude, ’ 
a ‘capacity, ’ which it seeks to increase; on the other 
hand, it reverses the course of the energy, the power 
that might result from it, and turns it into a relation 
of strict subjection” ( Michel Foucault, Discipline 
and Punish). 

“Oh, a girl, that receptacle of shame under 
beauty’s lock and key!” 

(Witold Gombrowicz, Ferdydurke, 1937) 

There is surely no place where one feels 

as horribly alone 

as in the arms of a Young-Girl. 


The Young-Girl as Phenomenon / 35 



When the Young-Girl gives in to her own 
insignificance, she still manages to find 
glory in it, because she is "having fun." 

“This was precisely what captivated me — the 
maturity and autonomy of her youth, the self- 
assurance of her style. While we, in school, had 
our blackheads, constantly broke out in pimples 
and ideals, while our movements were gawky and 
each step was a gaffe, her exterior was entrancingly 
polished. Youth, for her, was not a transitional 
age — for this modern one, youth was the only time 
befitting a human being. [...] Her youth had no 
need of ideals, it was in and of itself an ideal” 
(Witold Gombrowicz, Ferdydurke) . 

The Young-Girl never learns anything. 

That’s not why she’s here. 

The Young-Girl knows all too well what she 
wants in detail to want anything in general. 

“DON’T TOUCH MY BAG!” 

The triumph of the Young-Girl originates 
in the failure of feminism. 

The Young-Girl does not speak. On the contrary, 
she is spoken by the Spectacle. 

The Young-Girl wears the mask of her face. 


36 / Theory of the Young-Girl 



The Young-Girl reduces all grandeur 
to the level of her ass. 

The Young-Girl is a purifier of negativity, an 
industrial profiler of unilaterality. In all things, she 
separates the negative from the positive, and 
generally retains only one of the two. No surprise 
that she doesn’t believe in words, which in fact 
have no meaning in her mouth. Let it Suffice, 

for us to be convinced, 
to see what she means 
by “romantic” 
which after all 
has little to do 
with Holderlin. 

“We must hence envisage the birth of the ‘young girl’ 
as the construction of an object in which different 
disciplines compete (from medicine to psychology, 
from physical education to morality, from physiology 
to hygiene)” (Jean-Claude Caron, The Body of 
Young Girls). 

The Young-Girl would like for the simple 
word love not to imply the project 
of destroying this society. 

"AH, THE HEART!" 


The Young-Girl as Phenomenon / 37 



"Don't confuse your job with your feelings!" 

In the life of the Young-Girl, inactivated 
opposites thrust into nothingness complement 
each other, and never contradict. 

The Young-Girl’s sentimentalism and materialism, 
however opposed they may appear, are really in solidarity: 
two aspects of her central void. 

The Young-Girl is happy to speak of her childhood 
with emotion, in order to give the impression 
that she has not gotten over it, that at bottom, 
she is still naive. Like all whores, she dreams of 
candor. But unlike whores, she insists that we 
believe her, and that we believe her sincerely. 
Her infantilism, which is ultimately just a childlike 
fundamentalism, makes her the wiliest vector of 
general infantilization. 

The pettiest sentiments still retain, for the 
Young-Girl, the prestige of their sincerity. 

The Young-Girl loves her illusions 
the same way she loves her reification: 
by proclaiming them. 

The Young-Girl knows everything as devoid 
of consequences, even her own suffering. 
Everything is funny, nothing’s a big deal. 
Everything is cool, nothing is serious. 


38/ Theory of the Young-Girl 



The Young-Girl wants to be recognized not for 
what she might be, but for the simple fact of her 
being. She wants to be recognized in the absolute. 


U£e young ~S?irf is not £ere to 6e criticized. 

When the Young-Girl arrives at the age limit of 
infantilism, where it becomes impossible not to ask 
oneself the question of ends for fear of finding 
oneself suddenly in search of means (which, in this 
society, can arrive very late), she reproduces. 
Paternity and maternity constitute one method 
among others, no less devoid of substance than all 
the rest, of holding out 

UNDER THE EMPIRE OF NECESSITY. 

The Young-Girl doesn’t kiss you, 

SHE DROOLS OVER YOU THROUGH HER TEETH. 

Materialism of secretions. 

The Young-Girl adopts above all the point of 
view of psychology, about herself as much as the 
course of the world. This is how she manages to 
present a certain consciousness of her own reifica- 
tion, a consciousness that is itself reified, as it’s 
cut off from all gesture. 

The Young-Girl knows 
the standard perversions. 

The Young-Girl as Phenomenon / 39 



"TOO CUTE!" 

The Young-Girl’s aim is balance. Not the balance of 
a ballerina, but of an accountant. 

The smile has never served as an argument. 
There is also the smile of skulls. 

The Young-Girl’s affectivity is made only of signs, 
and occasionally, mere signals. 

Wherever ethos is lacking or decomposing, the 
Young-Girl appears as the bearer of the fleeting 
and discolored mores of the Spectacle. 

The Young-Girl 

is not expected to understand you. 

The Young-Girl’s predilection for actors and actresses 
can be explained according to the laws of elementary 
magnetism: whereas they are the positive absence of 
any quality, the void that takes all forms, she is but the 
negative absence of quality. Thus, like his reflection, 
the actor is the same as the Young-Girl, whose 

negation he also is. THE YOUNG"GlRL CONCEIVES LOVE 
AS ONE SPECIFIC KIND OF ACTIVITY. 

The Young-Girl's laughter rings with the desolation 

of nightclubs. 

The Young-Girl is the only insect that consents 
to the entomology of womens magazines. 


Theory of the Young-Giri 


40 / 



Identical, in this, to misery, 
a Young- Girl never shows up alone. 

Thus wherever Young-Girls dominate, their taste 
must also dominate; this is what determines the 
tastes of our time. The Young-Girl is the purest form 
of reified relations; she is their truth. The Young- 
Girl is the anthropological concentrate of reification. 

The Spectacle amply remunerates, though 
indirectly, the conformity of the Young-Girl. 

In love more than anywhere else, the Young-Girl 
behaves like an accountant, always suspecting 
that she loves more than she is loved, and that 
she gives more than she receives. 

Among Young-Girls there is a community of gesture 
and expression that is anything but moving. 

The Young-Girl is ontologically virgin, 

virgin of all experience. 
The Young-Girl can display solicitude, 
provided one is truly miserable. This is one 
aspect of her resentment. 

The Young-Girl does not perceive the passage of 
time any more than she is moved by its “conse- 
quences.” Otherwise, how else could she speak of 
aging with such indignation, as though it were a crime 
committed against her? 


The Young-Girl as Phenomenon / 41 



Even when she isn’t trying to seduce, the 
Young-Girl acts like a seductress. 

There is something professional about everything the Young-Girl does. 

The Young-Girl will never stop flattering 
herself for having "Common Sense . " 

In the Young-Girl, even the most insipid 
moralisms have the air of prostitution. 

The Young-Girl possesses all the severity of the economy. 
However, the Young-Girl is more ignorant of abandon 
than anything else. 

The Young-Girl is the entire reality of the Spectacle's 
abstract codes. 

The Young-Girl occupies the central node of the present 
system of desire. 

The Young-Girl’s every experience is drawn back 
incessantly into the preexisting representation she 
has made for herself. All the overwhelming con- 
creteness, the living part of the passage of time and 
of things are known to her only as imperfections, as 
alterations of an abstract model. 

The Young-Girl is 
resentment that smiles . 

There are beings that give you the desire to die slowly 
before their eyes, but the Young-Girl only excites the 
desire to vanquish her, to take advantage of her. 


42 / Theory of the Ybung-Girt 



The Young-Girl does not couple 

IN TRANSPORT TOWARD THE OTHER, 
BUT IN ORDER TO ESCAPE HER UNBEARABLE NULLITY. 

The supposed liberation of women did not consist 
in their emancipation from the domestic sphere, 
but rather in the total extension of the domestic 
into all of society. 

In the face of any person who would seek to 
make her think, the Young-Girl will always 
pride herself on being a realist. 

Insofar as what she hides is not her secret, but rather 
her shame , the Young-Girl hates the unexpected, 
especially when it is not programmed. 

"Being in love: 

a drug that reduces stress.” 

The Young-Girl never stops repeating it: She wants 
to be loved for who she is, which is to say for the 
non-being she is. 

The Young-Girl is the living and continual 
introjection of all repression. 

The “self” of the Young-Girl 
is as thick as a magazine. 

Nothing, in the conduct of the Young-Girl, has a 
reason in itself. Everything is ordered by the 
dominant definition of happiness. The Young-Girl’s 
estrangement from herself borders on mythomania. 


The Young-Girl as Phenomenon / 43 



As a last resort, the Young-Girl fetishizes “love” so 
as to avoid an awareness of the entirely conditioned 
nature of her desires. 

“I’m so happy 1 could give a shit 
about being free!” 

“The chemistry of passion: Today, everything is 
explainable, even the fact of falling in love! Farewell 
romanticism, since the ‘phenomenon’ is just a series 
of chemical reactions.” 

In their divorce, 

the Young-Girl's heart and ass 

have become two empty abstractions. 

"The ghostly image of the cinema hero modelfs] the embraces 
of adolescents , and later adultery" (Max Horkheimer/ 
Theodor W. Adorno, The Dialectic of Enlightenment). 

The Young-Girl is steeped in deja-vu. For her, the 
first-time experience is always a second time in 
representation. 

Naturally, nowhere has there been a “sexual libera- 
tion” — that oxymoron! — but only the pulverization 
of everything that slowed the total mobilization of 
desire in view of th t production of merchandise. The 
“tyranny of pleasure” does not incriminate pleasure, 
but tyranny. 


44 / Theory of the Young-Girl 



The Young-Girl knows how to 
take feelings into account. 

In the world of Young-Girls, coitus appears 
as the logical sanction of all experience. 

The Young-Girl is “satisfied with life,” 
at least that’s what she says. 

The Young-Girl only establishes relationships 
based on the strictest reification and on false 
substantiality, where THEY can be sure that what 
unites in fact only separates. 

The Young-Girl is optimistic, thrilled, positive, 
happy, enthusiastic, joyful; 
in other words, she suffers . 

The Young-Girl is produced wherever nihilism 
begins to speak of happiness. 

There is nothing special about the 
Young-Girl; that is her "beauty." 

The Young-Girl is an optical illusion. 

From afar, she is an angel, and up close, she is a beast. 

The Young-Girl doesn’t age. 

She decomposes. 

We know, in general, 

what the Young-Girl thinks of worrying. 

The Young-Girl’s education is the inverse of all 
other forms of education: First the immediate 


The Young-Girl as Phenomenon / 45 



innate perfection of youth, then the effort to 
maintain herself at the height of this primary nullity, 
and finally, collapse in the face of the impossibility 
of returning to this side of time. 

Viewed from afar, the Young-Girl’s nothingness appears 
relatively habitable, at certain moments even comfortable. 

"Love, Work, Health." 

The Young-Girl’s “beauty” is never a particular 
beauty, or one that might belong to her. On the 
contrary, hers is a beauty without content, an 
absolute beauty free of any personality. The 
Young-Girl’s “beauty” is but the form of a void, 
the spectral form of the Young-Girl. 

And this is why she can, without choking on her 
words, speak of “beauty,” because her own is never 
the expression of a substantial singularity, but a pure 
and ghostly objectivity. 

“Indeed, only now does [the basic ideological 
confusion between woman and sexuality] 
assume its full scope since women, once 
subjugated as a sex, are today '‘liberated’’ as 
a sex [...] Women, young people and the 
body — the emergence of all of which after 
thousands of years of servitude and forgetting 


46 / Theory of the Young-Girl 



in effect constitutes the most revolutionary 
potentiality — and, therefore, the most funda- 
mental risk for any social order whatever — 
are integrated and recuperated as a ‘myth 
of emancipation.’ Women are given Woman 
to consume, the young are given the Young 
and, in this formal and narcissistic emanci- 
pation, their real liberation is successfully 
averted” (Jean-Trissotin Baudrillard, The 
Consumer Society: Myths and Structures). 

The Young-Girl offers an unequivocal 
model of the metropolitan ethos: 
a refrigerated consciousness living 
in exile in a plasticized body. 

“Too cool!!!” Instead of saying 
“very” the Young-Girl says “too,” 
while in fact, she is so very little. 


Tne Young-Girl as Phenomenon / 47 



2 


THE YOUNG-GIRL AS TECHNIQUE OF THE SELF 


“What is Pleasure?” 

There is nothing in the Young-Girl’s life, even in 
the deepest zones of her intimacy, that escapes 
alienated reflexivity, that escapes the codification 
and the gaze of the Spectacle. This intimacy strewn 
with commodities yields entirely to advertising, and 
is entirely socialized as intimacy, which is to say that 
she is part-for-part subject to a fallacious common- 
ality that does not allow her to express herself. 

For the Young-Girl, what is most secret is also most public. 

The Young-Girl's body is an encumbrance, 
it is her world and it is her prison. 

The Young- Girl’s physiology is the offensive 
glaze of her false substantiality. 

The Young-Girl desires the Young-Girl. 


48 



The Young-Girl is the Young-Girl’s ideal. 

"Tired of macho guys? Why not 
try an objectified man..." 

The rhetoric of the war of the sexes, and thus for 
now, of women’s revenge, operates as the ultimate 
ruse through which the logic of virility will have 
vanquished women without their knowledge: by 
enclosing them, at the price of a simple role reversal, 
in the submission/domination alternative, to the 
exclusion of all else. 

"what does the mortification of the body 
require? That we nourish a sacred and implaca- 
ble hate for our bodies" (Spiritual instructions 
for the Sisters of Saint Vincent-de-Paul, 1884). 

The Young-Girl tries to express the self-referential 
closing-in-on-herself and the systematic ignorance of 
lack. This is why she is without defect, in the same 
way she is without perfection. 

In fairly recent prehistory, when there were only 
women’s magazines for women, a rumor lasting the 
length of a season suggested that these magazines had 
a depressing effect on their readers. Here and there one 
heard, based on an “American scientific study,” the 
most meager gossip of the age, that whenever a woman 
closed one of them she was noticeably sadder than 
before she’d opened it — she produced less serotonin, 


The Young-Girl as Technique of the Self / 49 



no doubt. And it is true, for whoever has tried to catch 
a Young- Girl in the midst of such an exercise will have 
noted her air of concern, of anguished seriousness and 
haste in turning the pages, as though picking through 
the rosary of an unloved religion. It seems that the act 
of contrition, in Empire’s religion of biopolitics, has 
managed to survive quite well, indeed, having only 
become more immanent. 

"I'm gonna do whatever 
I want with my hair!" 

The Young-Girl methodically reinvests everything 
from which she has been liberated with pure servi- 
tude. (It would be good, for example, to ask oneself 
what contemporary woman , which is a fairly terrible 
species of Young-Girl, has done with the “liberty” 
that the struggles of feminism have won her.) 

The Young-Girl is an attribute of her own program, 
in which everything must be regimented. 

“At twelve years old, i decided to be beautiful” 

The tautological nature of the Young-Girl’s beauty 
is rooted in the fact that she sees no alterity, but only 
the ideal representation of herself. This explains 
why her supposed interlocutor is thrown into 
such a terrible space, even if he is free to believe, 
idiotically, that she is meant for him. The Young-Girl 


50 / Theory of the Young -Girl 



establishes a space of power insofar as this space is 
not, in the end, a means to approach her. 

The Young-Girl has sexuality in the 
exact proportion to which all sensuality 
is foreign to her. 

“In consequence, the biologization of sex in 
particular and of the body in general establishes 
the body of the young girl as the ideal laboratory 
for the medical gaze” (Jean-Claude Caron, The 
Body oj Young Girls). 

The “youth" and “femininity" of the Young-Girl, 
in fact her youthitude and femininitude, 
are that through which the control of appearances 
extends to the discipline of bodies. 

The Young-Girl considers her ass a sufficient founda- 
tion for her sentiment of incommunicable singularity. 

The Young-Girl is so psychological... She 
has succeeded in rendering herself 2.sflat as 
the object of psychology. 

It is in the very being of the Young-Girl to reduce the 
metaphysical fact of finitude to a simple question of 
technique, which is the most effective anti-wrinkle 
cream? The most moving characteristic of the Young- 


The Young-Girl as Technique of te Self / 51 



Girl is doubtless this maniacal effort of attaining, in 
her appearance, a definitive impermeability to time 
and space, to history and her environment, to be 
everywhere and always impeccable. 

Protestant ethics, rejected as a general principal of 
how society functions and as a behavioral norm since 
the end of the “morality of producers,” has at the 
same time, and more rapidly since World War II, 
been wholly taken up at the level of the individual: 
since then it has massively governed the relation 
people have with their own bodies, their passions, 
and their lives, all of which they economize. 

Certainly because eroticism presents itself to the 
Young-Girl in all the unquestionable positivity 
that is inevitably attached to sexuality, and 
because transgression itself has become a tranquil 
norm, isolatable and encoded, coitus is not 
among those things that, in the relations one 
entertains with the Young-Girl, allows you to 
advance beyond a certain exteriority; rather, it 
locks you in this exteriority. 

u New breasts for my 18th birthday/ 7 

The “youth” that the Spectacle has granted 
the Young-Girl is a very bitter gift, for this 
“youth” is what is incessantly LOST. 


52 / Theory of the Young-Girt 



What is living need not express itself too 
much. What is dying dissipates in rattle 
the obvious approach of its end. The 
Young-Girl’s excessive affirmation of her 
sexuation attests to the agony of classical 
sexuation, that is, to its material basis. The 
spectre of Man and Woman haunts the 
streets of the metropolis. Its muscles come 
from the gym, her breasts are silicone. 

Between the Young-Girl and the world there is a 
window. Nothing touches the Young-Girl, the 
Young-Girl touches nothing. 

Nothing in the identity of the Young-Girl truly 
belongs to her, even less her “youth” than her 
“femininity.” She does not possess attributes, 
instead, her attributes possess her, those they have 
so generously loaned her. 

The Young-Girl chases after health 

as though it were salvation. 

The sense of the self as meat, as the heap of an 
organ variously filled with ovaries or flanked by balls, 
is the basis from which emerge the aspiration and 
finally the failure of the Young-Girl to give herself 
form, or at the very least to simulate one. This feeling 


The Young- Girl as Technique of the Seif f 53 



is not merely a lived consequence of the aberrations 
of Western metaphysics — which wants the formless 
to precede form, brought to it from outside — it is also 
what market domination must perpetuate at all cost, 
and which it constantly produces by rendering all 
bodies equivalent, by degenerating forms-of-life, 
by continually imposing an undifferentiating 
confusion. The loss of contact with the self, the 
crushing of all intimacy with the self, which makes 
the sense of self meat — these form the condition sine 
qua non for readopting the techniques of the self that 
the Empire offers for consumption. 

The depth of penetration of this consumer junk can be 
read in the intensity of the feeling of the self as meut. 


The exhausting 


ersniD of Domes 


The feeling of contradiction between one's exis- 
tence as a social being and one's existence as a 
singular being, which tears Bloom apart, does not 
enter the Young-Girl, who doesn't have a singular 
existence anymore than she has feelings in general. 

"ME £* MY BREASTS, MY BELLY BUTTON, 
MY BUTT, MY LEGS: A JOURNAL OF 
MY BODY" 


The Young-Girl is her own jailer, prisoner in a body- 
made-sign inside of a language made of bodies. 


54 / ! heory of the Young-Girl 



"Oh this cult, this obedience, the girl's slavery just 
because she is a schoolgirl and because she's 
modern I [...] Oh, this was slaveryto the pointof 
self-effacement for the sake of style, what obedience 
on the girl's part!" (Gombrowicz, Ferdydurke). 


"The profoundly-rooted instinct in women, 
which pushes them to use perfumes, is the 
manifestation of a law of biology. The first duty 
of a woman is to be attractive... Your degree of 
intelligence or independence is of little impor- 
tance, if you do not manage to influence the 
men you encounter, whether consciously or 
not, you are not fulfilling your fundamental duty 
as a woman..." (Advertisement for a perfume 
from the 1920s in the United States). 


The Young-Girl conceives her own existence 

as a management problem 
that it is her job to resolve. 


Before designating a relation to the other, a 
social relation or a form of symbolic integration, 
the Young-Girl designates a relation to the self, 
which is to say, to time. 


Contrary to all appearances, the Young-Girl is not 
worried about herself. She is not, strictly speaking, 
egotistical, nor for that matter egocentric, which is 
why her “self” is also another. That to which she 


The Young-Girl as Technique of the Self / 55 



consecrates all of the care of intransigent piety is 
for her, in fact, an exterior reality: her “body.” 

The application of capital-form to all 
things— health capital, sun capital, sympa- 
thy capital, etc. — and more particularly to 
bodies, means that the alienated social 
totality now mediates relations once ruled 
by immediacy. 

In the Young-Girl, the tension between convention 
and nature apparently disappears as the meaning of 
the terms is lost, so much so that one never seems 
to do violence to the other. 

The Young-Girl is like capitalism, domestic 
servants, and protozoa: She knows how to adapt 
and what’s more, she’s proud of it. 

Contrary to what is true of traditional 
societies, which recognized the exis- 
tence of abject things and exposed 
them as such, the Young-Girl denies 
their existence and dissimulates them. 

The appearance of the Young-Girl is the 
Young-Girl herself. Between the two 
there is nothing. 

Like all slaves, the Young- Girl thinks that she is the 
object of much more surveillance than she really is. 


56 / Theory of the Young-Girl 



The Young-Girl’s absence to herself is not contradicted 
by any of the “care” she seems to show for herself. 

The Young-Girl is never plastic 
enough for her taste. 

The Young-Girl doesn’t like wrinkles, 
wrinkles do not conform; 
wrinkles are the writing of life; 
life does not conform. 

The Young-Girl is as terrified of wrinkles as she is 
of all true EXPRESSION. 

In the guise of self-consciousness, the Young- 
Girl only has a vague sense of life. 

For the Young-Girl, bare life 
still functions as clothing. 

The Young-Girl lives sequestered inside her own "beauty" 

The Young- Girl doesn't love, 
she loves herself loving. 

Zm v, Sp'&bd/, OrjtMsLc: 3 UfbstyLe, tU&bs” 

The Young-Girl does not go as far as requiring that 
the short-lived conventions to which she submits 
have any meaning. 

The Young-Girl understands all relations on the 
model of the contract , more precisely, a contract that 
can be revoked at any point according to the interests 


The Young-Giri as Technique of the Seif / 57 



of the signatories. It is a form of bargaining about 
the differential value of each actor in the seduction 
market, in which it is necessary, in the end, for 
someone to pocket the dividends. 

"Are you OK with your body? 

Is your young carcass, dressed in graceful 

curves, well-maintained? Is your frame solid? 

The linings silky? Are you in good shape?” 

The Young- Girl produces herself daily 
as such, via the maniacal reproduction of the 
dominant ethos. 

"How to lose ten years with 
the right lifestyle." 

A cosmetics multinational recently launched a 
major advertising campaign for an anti-wrinkle 
cream by the name of Ethic. In so doing, it simul- 
taneously revealed that there is nothing as ethical 
as covering oneself in shit every morning in order 
to conform to the categorical imperative of 
youthitude, and that there could not possibly be 
any ethos other than that of the Young-Girl. 

“Beauty” is the mode of unveiling proper to the 

Young-Girl in the Spectacle. This is why she is 


58 / Theory of the Voung-Qp 



also a generic product, containing all of the 
abstraction of that which is forced to address 
itself to a certain segment of the sexual market- 
place, inside of which everything looks alike. 

Capitalism has truly created wealth, because it 
discovered it where it had formerly been invisible. 
This is how, for example, capitalism created beauty, 
health, or youth as wealth , that is, as qualities that 
possess you. 

The Young-Girl is never satisfied with her submis- 
sion to consumer metaphysics, with the docility of 
her entire being, and obviously of her entire body, 
to the norms of the Spectacle. This is why she 
displays the need to exhibit it. 

"They have offended the 
thing I hold most dear: my 
image" (Silvio Berlusconi). 

The Young-Girl always-already lives as a couple, 
that is, she lives with her image. 

The Young-Girl confirms the psychological 
import of consumer semiocracy. 

HOW MUCH BEAUTY HAVE YOU COT? NO, BEAUTY IS 
NOT A QUESTION OF SUBJECTIVE APPRECIATION. 
UNLIKE CHARM, MUCH TOO FLUID A NOTION, 
BEAUTY IS CALCULATED IN CENTIMETERS, DIVIDED 


The Young-Girl as Technique of the Self / 59 



INTO FRACTIONS, WEIGHED, EXAMINED BY MAGNI- 
FYING GLASS, EVALUATED IN ITS THOUSANDS OF SLY 
DETAILS. STOP HIDING BEHIND NEO-HIPPY PRINCI- 
PLES, LIKE 'INNER BEAUTY, THAT'S WHAT COUNTS,' 
'I'VE GOT MY OWN STYLE,' AND DARE TO MEASURE 
YOURSELVES IN TH E COURT OF TH E GREATS!!!" 

The Young-Girl’s beauty is produced. She doesn’t 
mind saying so: “Beauty doesn’t fall from the sky,” 
that is, it’s the fruit of labor. 

The Young-Girl’s self-control and self -constraint 
are obtained through the introjection of two 
unquestionable “necessities”: that of reputation 
and that of health. 

To cLny, no t suffering U not n Lwxnry. 
It’s n right” 

Officially, the Young- Girl has preferred 
to become a thing that feels, 
rather than a Bloom who suffers. 
The Young-Girl pursues plastic perfection in all its 
forms, in particular, her own. 

From working out to anti-wrinkle creams 
and liposuction, the Young-Girl’s determination 
is the same regardless — to disregard her body, and 
to make her body an abstraction. 


60 / Theory of the Young-Girt 



"Anything you cun do to 
come to terms with your image. " 

However vast her narcissism, the Young-Girl 
doesn’t love herself; what she loves is “her” image, 
that is, something that is not only foreign and 
exterior to her, but that possesses her, in the full 
sense of the word. The Young-Girl lives under the 
tyranny of this ungrateful master. 

AS A LAST RESORT, THE YOUNG-GIRL DRAPES 
HERSELF IN HER OWN LACK OF MYSTERY. 

THE YOUNG-GIRL IS FIRST AND FOREMOST A POINT OF VIEW ON THE PASSAGE OF HME, 

BUT A POINT OF VIEW THAT IS ALIVE. 


The Young-Girt as Technique of the .Seif / 61 



3 


THE YOUNG-GIRL AS SOCIAL RELATION 


The Young-Girl is the elementary social relation, 
the central form of the desire of desire in the Spectacle. 

And meanwhile, love has been lost in the 
most foulest of spectacular role-plays. 

The Young-Girl never gives herself; she only gives 
what she has, which is to say the array of qualities that 
THEY loan her. This is also why it is not possible to 
love the Young-Girl, but only to consume her. 

"I CAN'T GET ATTACHED, OK?” 


Seduction is an aspect of social labor: that of the Young-Girl. 
The Young-Girl’s impotence or frigidity concretely 
manifest that her own erotic power is detached from 
her and autonomized to the point of dominating her. 


62 



When the Young-Girl giggles, 
she’s working. 

The Young-Girl’s reification fits so well 
into the world of the authoritarian 
commodity that it should be considered 
her fundamental professional skill. 

Sexuality is every bit as central for the Young-Girl as 
each one of her couplings is insignificant. 

And they are realistic, 
even in love. 

The Young-Girl does not content herself with the 
belief that sexuality exists. She swears she has 
encountered it. For new gods, new superstitions. 

u ~h) flails a joocf screw?” 

Never forget that the Young-Girl who loves you also chose you. 

"Lovesickness 

can make you lose seven pounds." 

For the Young-Girl, seduction never ends, which is 
to say that the Young-Girl ends with seduction. 

Every relation with the Young-Girl consists in being 
chosen anew at every instant. In this it imposes the 
same contractual precarity as work does. 


The Young-Girl as Social Relation / 63 



The Young-Girl doesn’t love anyone, which is to 
say that she only loves the impersonality of them. 
She manages to detect the Spectacle wherever it is 
to be found, and wherever she finds it, she adores it. 

Because in the Spectacle, even “carnal union” 
opportunely increases separation. 

"BELIEVE IN BEAUTY." 

The "dictatorship of beauty" is also the 
dictatorship of ugliness. It does not signify 
the brutal hegemony of a certain paradigm 
of beauty, but rather, more radically, the 
hegemony of the physical simulacrum as the 
form of the objectivity of beings. Understood 
as such, we can see that nothing prevents such 
a dictatorship from extending over everyone — 
the beautiful, the ugly, and the indifferent. 

The Young-Girl does not mind miming submission 
here and there: because she knows it dominates. Something 
in this brings her in line with the masochism that has 
long been taught to women, which makes them cede 
the signs of power to men in order to recover, inter- 
nally, the certitude that they possess them in reality. 

Sexuality does not exist . 

It is an abstraction, a moment of human relations that 
has been detached, hypostasized, and rendered ghostly. 


64 / Theory of ti :e Young -Girl 



The Young-Girl only feels at home in relationships 
of pure exteriority. 

The Young-Girl is both production and a factor 
of production, that is, she is the consumer, the 
producer, the consumer of producers, and the 
producer of consumers. 

The Young-Girl’s “femininity” designates 
only the fact that the Spectacle has 
turned the legendary intimacy of “Woman” 
with nature into absolute intimacy with 
the “second nature” of Spectacle. 

The couple: to petrify all of the uncontrollable 
fluidity of distance between bodies by carving out a 
territory that can be appropriated for intimacy. 

The Young-Girl gives the word “desire” a very par- 
ticular meaning. Make no mistake: In her mouth, it 
does not designate the inclination that a mortal being 
might feel for another mortal being or for any- 
thing, but rather, on the impersonal plane of value: a 
difference of potential. It is not this being’s tension 
towards its object, but rather a tension in the dull 
electrical sense of a motor imbalance. 


The Young-Girl as Social Relation / 65 



Seduction is not originally the spontaneous relation 
between men and women, but rather the dominant 
relation of men amongst themselves. Thus seduction 
always had sexuality as an empty center, but a center 
which was repulsive even before its effect was 
reversed. Shame and exhibitionism are the opposing 
poles of an identical fiction. 

Through the eyes of the Young-Girl, 
the Spectacle is looking at you. 

The Young-Girl’s existential posture has quickly 
irradiated every field of human activity. In architec- 
ture, it is called fagadism, for example. 

The Young-Girl possesses her reality outside of herself, 
in the Spectacle, in all of the doctored representations 
of the ideal that it traffics, in the fleeting conventions it 
decrees, in the mores through which it commands 
mimesis. She is simply the insubstantial concretion of 
all these abstractions, which precede and follow her. 
In other words, she is a purely ideological creature. 

"Cerebral control freak, frigid obsessive, dynamic 
performer, unstable creative type, energetic control- 
freak, friendly emotional type, repressed sensitive 
type, emotional volunteer. Who are you really?" 

THE ESSENCE OFTHE YOUNG-GIRL IS 
TAXONOMICAL. 


66 / Theory of the Yourg-Girl 



Among the relations monads can have amon gst 
themselves, seduction is the one that most con- 
forms to their essence. Seduction's fundamental 
hypothesis is the completeness and impermeability 
of the two parties. An impermeability to what she 
nevertheless embraces— that is whatthe Young-Girl 
calls "respect." 

Flirtation is the most obvious realm 
of the mechanical functioning 
of relationships in consumer society. 

“From all this we see that fashion furnishes an ideal 
field for individuals with dependent natures, whose 
self-consciousness, however, requires a certain 
amount of prominence, attention, and singularity. 
Fashion raises even the unimportant individual by 
making him the representative of a class, the 
embodiment of a joint spirit. [. . .] It is peculiarly 
characteristic of fashion that it renders possible a 
social obedience, which at the same time is a form of 
individual differentiation. [. . .] it is the mingling of the 
sensation of rulership with submission, the influence 
of which is here at work" (Georg Simmel, Fashion). 

The blackmailing of the couple is increasingly 
becoming the blackmailing of sexuality. But this 
process has doubled in turn: The Young-Girl really 
only allows “best friends” to get close, in whom all 


The Young-Girl as Social Relation / 67 



sexual latency has been extinguished in advance, and 
none will be held at a greater distance than those 
she has let into her bed. It is the experience of this 
distance that substitutes the partner for the lover. 

The behavior of the Young-Girl 
betrays her obsession for calculation. 

"If she were mine, she would never belong 
only to me, nor should she. Beauty is there 
for everyone to see: It is a public institution" 
(Carlo Dossi, Amori, 1887). 

In her own way, the Young-Girl is aiming 
for “zero flaws.” This is why she extends 
first to herself the regime ruling the pro- 
duction of things. Her imperialism is not 
extraneous to the intention of serving as 
the example for all other Blooms. 

All the Young-Girl’s activity, to which she has 
abdicated all liberty and into which she continually 
loses herself, is COSUietiC in nature. In this way 
she resembles the whole of society, which devotes 
such care to the maintenance of its facade. 

The Young-Girl has taken to calling the reified 
set of her own limitations her “personality.” 
She can thus assert her right to nullity as a 
right to “be herself,” that is, to be only that, a 
right that must be conquered and defended. 


68 / Theory of the Young-Girl 



For sexuality to have spread into every sphere of 
human existence, it was first necessary for THEM to 
fantasmatically dissociate it as a moment separated 
from the totality of the rest of life. 

The body of the Young-Girl is merely a concession 
THEY have made to her, more or less durably, which 
explains the hatred she has for it. Her body is just a 
rented residence, something from which she can 
only derive usufruct, meaning only her use of it is 
free, and moreover, because its very walls — her 
corporeality projected as capital, a factor of pro- 
duction and consumption — are possessed by the 
autonomized social totality. 

"Who does he think he is!?" 

The Voung-Girl is a form of "social relation" in the 
primary sense of what relates you to this society. 

"The Perfect Sexual Relationship cannot 
be improvised: 

you decide on it 

prepare for it 
plan it!" 

The Young-Girl's love affairs are work 
and like all work 
they have become precarious. 


The Young-Girl as Social Relation / 69 



As identities without substance, “virility” and 
“femininity” are but useful tools in the Spectacle’s 
management of social relations. They are fetishes 
necessary to the circulation and consumption of 
other fetishes. 

The Spectacle loves itself, desires itself, admires itself, 
in the Young-Girl, its Pygmalion. 

Caught inside herself, the Young-Girl doesn't express 
anything. She is a sign whose meaning is elsewhere. 
The Young-Girl is an instrument of degradation: 
Everything that comes into contact with her is degraded 
into a Young-Girl. 

"Living together and every man for himself." 

The Young-Girl is the extreme point 
of alienated socialization, at which 
the most socialized person is also the 
most asocial . 

In sexuality, as with money, it is the relations that 
become autonomized from what they put into relation. 

It is precisely by imparting to her body, but more generally 
to her whole being, the character of capital that THEY 
have dispossessed the Young-Girl of both body and being. 

Sexuality is a separation device. In it, THEY have 
made socially acceptable the fiction of a sphere of 
truth of all relations and beings, in which the 
distance between self and self, as with the distance 


70 / Theory of the Young-Girl 



between self and other, can finally be abolished, 
where pure coincidence can be found. The fiction 
of sexuality presents the truth/appearance, sincerity/ 
falsehood alternative in such a way that all that is 
not sexuality is rejected as falsehood. It preemptively 
undermines any possibility of developing relations 
between beings. The art of distances, through 
which one can experiment with leaving separation, 
is constructed against the device of “sexuality” and 
its binary extortion. 

The Young-Girl is also a design element, a precarious 
floating wall of the “modern” conditions of existence. 

Even in love, the Young-Girl speaks the language of 
political economy and management. 

The whole world of the Spectacle is a mirror 

that shows the Young-Girl 

the assimilable image of her ideal. 

In the world of the Young-Girl, the demand for liberty 
comes clothed in the demand for seduction. 

The Young-Girl is the anecdote of the world, 
and the domination of the world of the anecdote. 

"Job. You are entering a highly constructive period 
that is energetically driving you forward. Everything is 
coming together: luck, creativity, popularity. 

Love. Your charm is bringing you lots of positive 
feedback." 


The Young -Girl as Social Relation / 71 



For the Young-Girl, the language of horoscopes is also 
“the language of real life.” 

The Young-Girl displays the specifically magical 
ability to convert the most heterogeneous “qualities” 
(fortune, beauty, intelligence, generosity, humor, 
social origins, etc.) into a single “social value” governing 
her every relational choice. 

The Spectacle seeks to awaken the Young-Girl 
sleeping in everyone. This is the uniformity 
whose phantasm it pursues. 

The deception of porn is that it claims to 
represent the obscene, making visible the 
point at which all representation evaporates. In 
reality, any family meal, any managerial meeting 
is more obscene than a facial ejaculation. 

There isn’t room for two in the body 
of the Young-Girl. 

The Young-Girl’s desire to convert herself into a 
sign simply expresses her desire to belong tA all costs 
to the society of non-belonging. It signifies a constant 
effort to remain in harmony with her visible being. 
The challenge explains the fanaticism. 

Under modern conditions of production, to 
love is impossible. In the way in which a 


72 / Theory of the Young-Girl 



commodity is unveiled, gift-giving appears 
either as an absurd weakness, or as taking 
place within a flux of other exchanges and 
thus governed by “calculated disinterest.” 
Since man is supposed to know only his 
own interests, and only to the extent that 
these don’t ever fully emerge, only false- 
hood and simulation are plausible. Thus, 
when it comes to the intentions and real 
motivations of the other, paranoid suspicion 
reigns: The gift is so suspect that it 
becomes necessary to pay to give. The 
Young-Girl knows this better than anyone. 

The dirty game of seduction 

When private property is emptied of all of its 
metaphysical substance, it does not immediately 
die. It survives, but its content is then only 
negative: the right to deprive others of the use 
of our assets. As soon as coitus is freed from 
any immanent meaning, it proliferates. But in 
the end, it is only the ephemeral monopoly on 
the use of the genital organs of the other. 

With the Young-Girl, the superficiality of being 

is caused by the superficiality of all relations. 


The Young-Girl as Social Relation / 73 



4 


THE YOUNG-GIRL AS COMMODITY 


The Young-Girl isn’t as worried about possessing 
the equivalent of what she’s worth on the market- 
place of desire as she is about assuring herself of her 
value, which she wants to know with certitude and 
precision, according to the thousand signs remaining 
for her to convert into what she’ll call her “seduction 
potential,” in other words, her mana. 

"She who has not found a way to give herself will 
find a way to sell herself" (Stendhal). 

“How to be sexy without 
coming across as a bitch.” 

The value of the Young-Girl is not based on some inte- 
rior, or simply intrinsic, ground, but solely on her 
exchangeability. The value of the Young-Girl only 
becomes apparent in her relation to another Young- 


74 



Girl. This is why she is never alone. In making the 
other Young-Girl her equal in value, she puts herself 
into relation with herself as value. In putting herself 
into relation with herself as value, she differentiates 
herself from herself as a singular being. “Representing 
itself as something differentiated from itself, it begins 
to show itself, in reality, as a commodity” (Marx). 

The Young-Girl is the commodity that insists on 
being consumed, at every instant, because at 
every instant she becomes more obsolete. 

The Young-Girl doesn’t contain within herself that for 
which she is desired: her Publicity. 

The Young-Girl is an absolute: She is bought because 
she has value, she has value because she is bought. 

The tautology of commodities. 

The Young-Girl is the one who has preferred 
to become a commodity, rather than passiveLy 
suffer its tyranny. 

In love as in the rest of this “society,” 
nobody is expected to ignore his or 
her own value. 

The Young-Girl is the place where products 
and the human coexist in an apparently non- 
contradictory manner. 


The Young-Giri as Commodity / 75 



The world of the Young-Girl evinces a singular 
sophistication, in which reification has made added 
progress: In it, human relations mask market rela- 
tions which mask human relations. 

“You deserve better than that guy/chick.” 

The Young-Girl inhabits the Spectacle just like a woman 
in the primitive world, as an object of Advertising. But 
the Young-Girl is also the subject of Advertising, 
exchanging itself. This schism in the Young-Girl is her 
fundamental alienation. To which is added the following 
drama: Whereas exogamy effectively maintained perma- 
nent ties between tribes, the Young-Girl’s mana slips 
through her fingers, her Advertising fails, and it is she 
herself who suffers the consequences. 

The Young-Girl is lost in her price. 

That's all she is now, and she's sick to her stomach. 

Shame for the Young-Girl doesn’t come from 
being bought, but rather from not being bought. 
She derives glory from her value, and even 
more glory from putting a price on herself. 

Nothing is less personal than the 
"personal value" of the Young-Girl. 

It isn’t rare that, through an abuse of language that 
slowly becomes an abuse of reality, the owners of a 


76 / 'l heory of the Young-Girl 



unique or precious object develop an affection for a 
thing, and finally claim to “love” it, even “to love it a 
lot.” Likewise, some “love” a Young-Girl. Of course, 
if it was truly the case they would all die of sorrow. 
The Young-Girl sets in motion the self-commodification 
of what is beyond the market; the auto-estimation of 
the inestimable. 

hJlJk... rooOq {vnjGX Od\j X%\<l . 

The “personal value” of the Young-Girl is simply 
the “price” at which she is willing to be 
exchanged, and it is the reason why she enters 
exchange so rarely — in order to increase her value. 

The Young-Girl sells her existence 
like it’s a private service. 

The Young-Girl continues to count out 
the incalculable she gives. 

In the exchange initiated by the Young-Girl, the personal is 
traded against the personal on the terrain of the impersonal 
marketplace. 

The Young-Girl, by nature bothered by love, only 
allows herself to be approached conditionally, con- 
clusively, or with a sale in mind. Even when she 
seems to abandon herself completely, she only 
abandons the part of herself that is under contract, 
preserving or reserving the liberty she hasn’t alienated. 


The Young-Girl as Commodity / 77 



Because the contract can never subjugate the entirety 
of the person selling herself, some portion of her 
must always remain outside the contract, precisely to 
contract with others. The abject character of love in 
its current incarnation cannot be explained more 
clearly or with greater verisimilitude. “From this one 
could conclude that the absoluteness of the relation- 
ship has been perverted from the onset and that, in a 
mercantile society, there is indeed commerce 
between beings but never a veritable ‘community,’ 
never a knowledge that is more than an exchange 
of ‘good’ procedures, be they as extreme as is con- 
ceivable. Power relationships in which it is the one 
who pays or supports who is dominated, frustrated 
by his very power which measures only his 
‘impotence’” (Maurice Blanchot, The Unavowable 
Community ). 

“Hold on tight!” 

The Young-Girl remains at all times the staunch 
owner of her body. 

She is a waitress, model, publicist, or 
promoter. Today, the Young-Girl sells her 
“power of seduction” the way her “labor 
power” used to be sold. 

Every success in seduction is essentially a 
failure, for, just as we do not buy a commodity, 


78 / Theory of the Young- Girl 



but rather a commodity that wants to be 
bought, it is not a Young-Girl we seduce, but 
rather a Young-Girl who wants to be seduced. 

The broker of a fairly singular brand of transaction, 
the Young-Girl trains all her efforts toward achieving 
a good fuck. 

The diversity of social, geographic, or morpho- 
logical constraints weighing on each grouping of 
human organs that the Young-Girl encounters 
are not sufficient to explain her differential 
positioning among competing products. Their 
exchange value is neither based on any singular 
expression nor on any substantial determination 
that could truly be made equivalent, not even 
through the powerful mediation of the Spectacle. 
This value is therefore not determined by some 
imaginary natural factors, but rather by the sum 
of labor furnished by each individual in order to 
render himself recognizable in the vitreous eyes 
of the Spectacle, that is, in order to produce 
himself as the sign of the qualities recognized by 
alienated Advertising, and which are never, 
finally, but synonyms for submission. 

The Young-Girl's primary skill: 

arranging for her own scarcity. 

Relaxing, for the Young-Girl, consists in knowing 
exactly what she's worth. 


The Young-Girl as Commodity / 79 



"What an insult! 
Rejected by an old guy!" 

The Young-Girl is never worried about herself, but only about 
her value. Thus, when she encounters hatred, she is struck by 
doubt: Has her market value dropped? 

If it were worth it to them to speak, Young-Girls would 
say: "Our use-value may interest men, but it does not 
belong to us as objects. What does belong to us as 
objects, however, is our value. Our own intercourse as 
commodities proves it. We relate to each other merely 
as exchange-values" (Karl Marx, Capital). 

“ Seduce usefully. 

Don’t waste your time attracting just anybody. " 

The Young-Girl relates to herself in the same way 
that she relates to all of the products with which she 
surrounds herself. 

"Don't devalue yourself like that!" 
For the Young-Girl, it is first and foremost a matter of making 
herself worth something. 

Just as an object acquired by a certain sum of money 
becomes pathetic compared to the infinite virtualities 
that this sum contained, the sexual object that the 
Young-Girl possesses is but a deceptive crystallization 
of her “seduction potential.” Actual sex is but the 
poor objectification of all the coitus that she could 
just as well engage in. The Young-Girl’s derision 
of all things is the mark of a religious intuition 
that has fallen into the wrong infinitude. 


80 / Theory of the Young-Girl 



The Young-Girl is the most authoritarian com- 
modity in the world of authoritarian commodities, 
the one that nobody can fully possess and that 
nevertheless polices you and can be withdrawn 
from you at any moment. 

The Young-Girl is the commodity that claims to 
single out its acquirer sovereignly. 

The Young-Girl lives 

at home 

among commodities, 

which are her sisters. 

The absolute triumph of the Young-Girl reveals that 
sociality shall henceforth be the most precious, most 
prized commodity of all. 

What characterizes the imperial period, that of the Spectacle and 
Biopower, is that the Young-Girl's own body takes on the form 
of a commodity that belongs to her. "On the other hand, it is 
only at this moment that the commodity form of human beings 
becomes generalized" (Karl Marx). 

The vitrified aspect of the face of the Young-Girl 
must be explained by her status as commodity: She 
is the crystallization of a certain quantity of labor 
spent to put her in accordance with the norms of a 
certain type of exchange. And the form of the 
Young-Girl’s appearance, which is also that of a 
commodity, is characterized by the obscuring, if not 
the voluntary forgetting, of this concrete labor. 


The Young-Giri as Commodity / 81 



In the Young-Girl’s “love life” a relationship between 
things takes the phantasmagorical form of a relationship 
between singular beings. 

With the Young-Girl, it is not only that commodities take hold 
of human subjectivity. It is human subjectivity that first reveals 
itself as the interiorization of commodities. 

One has to think that Marx didn’t have the Young- 
Girl in mind when he wrote that “commodities 
cannot go to market and make exchanges of their 
own account.” 

“Originality” is part of the Young-Girl’s system 
of banality. It is this concept that allows her to 
make all singularities equivalent as pure, empty 
singularities. In her eyes, all nonconformity takes 
place in a kind of nonconformist conformity. 

“My a poet. " 

It is always surprising to see how the theory of 
comparative advantage, developed by Ricardo, 
is more fully verified in the commerce of Young- 
Girls than in that of inert goods. 

It is only in exchange that the Young-Girl attains 
her value. 

From the provinces, from the suburbs, or 
from rich neighborhoods, insofar as they're 
Young-Girls, all Young-Girls are equivalent. 


82 / Theory of the Young-Girl 



A commodity is the materialization of a relation, 
the Young-Girl is its incarnation. 

In our time, the Young-Girl is the commodity most in demand: 
the human commodity. 

Within the mode of unveiling of the commodity, in 
which "beauty" unveils nothing of its own, appearance having 
become autonomous of all essence, the Young-Girl, no matter 
what she does, cannot escape giving herself to just anyone. 

“Whatever, 

if not her then somebody else. . 

The "laws of the market" have been individualized 
in the Young-Girl. 

What THEY still call “love” is nothing but fetishism attached 
to a particular commodity: the human commodity. 

The eye of the Young-Girl carries within it the 
effective entering-into-equivalence of all places, all 
things, and all beings. Thus the Young-Girl can 
consciously reduce everything that enters her field 
of perception to something she already knows from 
alienated Advertising. This is what her language is 
continually translating, full as it is of “like”... 
“kinda”.. . and other “stuff”.. . 

The Young-Girl is a central aspect of what 
Negrists call "the putting-to-work of desire and 


The Young-® as Commodity / 83 



affect," forever dazzled as they are by this world 
of commodities in which they still find nothing 
worthy of reproach. 

"Seduction: I earn love marketing! 

You dream about him, he doesn't notice. 
Snag him with the lows of marketing. No 
man can resist a well-conceived marketing 
campaign. Especially if the product is you." 

WHERE THE SPECTACLE REIGNS, TH E VALUE 
OF THE YOUNG-GIRL IS IMMEDIATELY 
EFFECTIVE: HER BEAUTY ITSELF IS FELT 
AS EXECUTIVE POWER. 

In order to conserve her "scarcity value," the Young-Girl 
must sell herself only at the highest price, which signifies that 
she must usually give up selling herself. Thus, as we often 
see, the Young-Girl is an opportunist even in abstinence. 

"...Because I'm worth it!" 


In classical economic terms, we have to admit that 
the Young-Girl is a “Giffen good” or “Giffenian,” 
that is, an object, as opposed to what “usually” takes 
place, whose demand rises the more expensive it is. 
This category includes luxury goods, of which the 
Young-Girl is certainly the most vulgar. 


84 / Theory o' the Young-Girl 



The Young-Girl never allows herself to 
be possessed as a Young-Girl in the same way 
that a commodity never allows itself to be 
possessed as a commodity, but only as a thing. 

“YOU CAN BE PRETTY, SURROUNDED 
BY FRIENDS, PESTERED WITH PICK-UP 
LINES, AND YET ALONE INSIDE.” 

The Young-Girl only exists as a Young-Girl within 
the system of general equivalency and its mas- 
sive circulatory movement. She is never possessed 
for the same reason that she is desired. The very 
moment one acquires her, she is taken out of 
circulation, the mirage fades, she sheds her 
magic aura and her nimbus of transcendence. 
She's stupid and she reeks. 


“The modern world Id not univerdally prodti- 
tutional for the dale of luxury. It would he 
incapable of that. It id univerdaiiy prodtitutional 
becaude it id univerdaiiy interchangeable” 
(Charles Peguy, Note conjointe). 

The Young-Girl is the universal beneficiary of all 
the pseudo-concreteness of this world, and of 
the pseudo-objectivity of coitus f irst of all. 

The Young- Girl would like to be a thing, but 
does not want to be treated like a thing. Yet all 


The Young-Gir! as Commodity / 85 



her distress comes not only from the fact that 
she’s treated like a thing, but that on top of that 
she can’t manage to really be a thing. 

"No, my body is not ci piece of merchandise. 
It’s a tool for work." 

The appalling thing isn't that the Young-Girl is 
fundamentally a whore, but that she refuses to 
perceive herself as such. Because the whore, 
being not only she who is bought, but also she 
who sells herself, is a maximalist figure of liberty 
among commodities. 

The Young-Girl is a thing to the very extent that she 
takes herself to be human: She is a human being to 
the very extent that she takes herself to be a thing. 
The whore represents the most eminent saintliness 
that the world of commodities can conceive of. 

“Be yourself! (It pays.)” 

One ruse of market thinking would have it appear that 
what she contains that is not on the order of com- 
modities — what is “authentic” or "good" about her — 
determines the Young-Girl's value. 

The Young-Girl is a crisis of coherence that 
shakes the very bowels of consumer society. 
She responds to the imperative of the total 
commodification of existence, to the necessity 


86 / theory o' the Young-Girl 



of making sure nothing will remain outside 
the commodity form in what we still call, 
euphemistically, “human relations.” 


The mission she has been given is to re-enchant 
a devastated world of commodities, of prolong- 
ing the disaster with joy and insouciance. She 
inaugurates a form of second-degree con- 
sumption: the consumption of consumers. If 
we give credence to appearances, which has 
become legitimate in many cases, we would 
have to say that the commodity has achieved, 
through the Young-Girl, the total annexation 
of the non-commodity. 

THE YOUNG-GIRL'S ASS REPRESENTS THE 
LAST BASTION OF I LLUSION OF A USE VALUE 
WHICH HAS SO MANIFESTLY DISAPPEARED 
FROM THE SURFACE OF EXISTENCE. THE 
IRONY, OF COURSE, IS THAT THIS VALUE IS 
STILL, ITSELF, AN EXCHANCE. 


Within the Spectacle, we can say of the 
Young-Girl what Marx remarked about 
money, calling it “a special kind of commodity 
that is set apart from other commodities by 
a common act, and which serves to expose 
their reciprocal value.” 


The Young-Girl as Commodity / 87 



5 


THE YOUNG-GIRL AS LIVING CURRENCY 


The Young-Girl becomes demonetized when she goes 
out of circulation. When she loses the possibility 
of re-entering the marketplace, she begins to rot. 

^fehe/ c Xjouna /- i/it is/ the/ cammaditi p specially/ 

as&lqned/ to/ the/ ciwuAaMon/ op standout/ averts/. 

Value has never measured anything, but what it already 
failed to measure, it now measures more and more poorly. 

Living money represents the ultimate 
answer of consumer society to the impotence of 
money to equal, and thus to purchase, the most 
notable human productions, those that are at once 
the most precious and the most common. For as the 
empire of money has spread to the farthest reaches 
of the world and to every expression of human life, 
it has lost all its specific value, it has become as 

88 



impersonal as its concept, and consequently so 
negligible that its equivalency with anything 
personal has been rendered highly problematic. It is 
this absolute inequality between the empire of 
money and human life that has always shown itself 
in the impossible retribution of prostitution. With 
living money, market domination has been able to 
cancel these two impotencies — the one to purchase 
human life as such, which is to say, power , and the 
other, to purchase its most eminent productions — 
by multiplying them. Living money manages to 
render equivalent what is incommensurable in the 
personal creations of humanity — which have become 
preponderant — and what is incommensurable in 
human life. Henceforth, the Spectacle will 
estimate the inestimable via the inestimable 
in “objective” values. 

‘“Living currency’: The industrial slave is 
both a sign guaranteeing wealth and the wealth itself. 
As a sign it stands for all manner of other material 
wealth, and as wealth it excludes all demands that are 
not those demands whose satisfaction it represents. 
But satisfaction proper is equally excluded by its 
being a sign” (Pierre Klossowski, Living Currency). 

A quality of exclusion belongs to the Young- 

Girl, the Young-Girl as commodity, linked to 

the fact that she is also, irreducibly, a human 


The Young-Girl as Living Currency / 89 



being, which is to say something that is, like 
gold, a means to its own end. It is in light of 
this exceptional situation that she assumes the 
role of general equivalency. 

Living currency, and specifically the Voung-Girl, 
furnish a fairly plausible solution to the crisis of 
value, nouu incapable of measuring and remunerating 
those creations most characteristic of this society — 
those linked to the general intellect. 

The conservation of minimal social con- 
ventions is conditioned by the fact that an excess 
of living currency would depreciate its value, 
rendering it incapable of constituting any real off- 
set to the inestimable it is destined to purchase. At 
the same time, in rendering the inestimable 
estimable, it saps its own resources. The spectre 
of inflation haunts the world of Young-Girls. 

The Young-Girl is the final cause of spectacular 
economy and its prime mover, immobile. 

The Young-Girl’s ass doesn’t possess any 
new value, but only the unprecedented deprecia- 
tion of all values that preceded it. The devastating 
power of the Young-Girl will have consisted in 
liquidating all products not convertible into 
living currency. 

In this total nihilism, all notion of 
grandeur or prestige would have disappeared 
long ago, if they hadn’t been immediately con- 
verted into Young-Girls. 


90/ Theory of tho Young-Girl 



The Young-Girl never misses a chance to extend the 
victory of living currency to mere money. Thus she 
requires, in exchange for herself, an infinite counter-gift. 


Money has ceased to be the ultimate term of economy. 
Its triumph has depreciated it. The naked emperor, 
whose metaphysical content has deserted him, has 
also lost all value. Nobody in the biopolitical herd 
respects it anymore. Living currency is what has 
come to take the place of money as general equiva- 
lent, that in light of which its value is established. 
Living currency is its own value and concreteness. 
The purchasing power of living currency, and a for- 
tiori of the Young-Girl, has no limits: It stretches to 
the totality of everything that exists, because in 
her, wealth enjoys itself doubly: both as sign and 
as fact. The high level of “individualization” of 
men and their creations, which had made money 
unfit to serve as mediator in purely personal relations, 
has now become the condition for the circulation of 
living currency. 

It appears that all of the 
concreteness of the world 
has taken refuge in the ass 
of the Young -Girl. 

Just as establishing social misery became necessary 
after ’68 in order to return to commodities the honor 
they had lost, likewise sexual misery is necessary for 


The Young. Girl as Living Currency / 91 



the maintenance of the tyranny of the Young-Girl, 
of living currency. But the misery revealed here is 
no longer related to a temporal or economic con- 
text, on the contrary it is the essential misery of 
“sexuality” that has finally appeared. 

"In the case of movables, possession gives title." 

IN NO WAY DOES MONEY CONTRADICT LIVING 
CURRENCY. IT IS AN EARLIER MOMENT WHICH 
THE LATTER PRESERVES. WITH ALL OF ITS 
ACCOUNTING THAT NOW MEASURES NOTHING. 

Once the translation of highly differentiated 
human life into money became impossible, THEY 
invented the Young-Girl, who restored to devalued 
money its value. But at the very same time she 
downgraded money, made it a secondary factor, 
the Young-Girl regenerated it, returning to it 
some substance. And it is thanks to this ruse that 
money survives. 

The impersonality of the Young-Girl has the 
same ideal, impeccable, and purifying substance as 
money. The Young-Girl herself has no smell. 

Just as “use value” bears no relation to its 
exchange value, the emotion that living money 
arouses is not susceptible to accounting and is not 
commensurate with any thing. But just as use value 
does not exist independent of exchange value, so the 
emotion aroused by living currency does not exist 


92 / Theory of the Young-Giii 



outside the system in which the latter is exchanged. 
One takes no more pleasure in the Young-Girl than 
one does in gold; one enjoys only their uselessness 
and scarcity. The indifference and insensitivity of 
Bloom were necessary preambles to concretizing the 
illusion of such an emotion, and its objectivity. 

When Marx posits that exchange value 
crystallizes the labor time that was neces- 
sary to produce the object, he affirms only 
that value is ultimately formed only by way 
of the life that has been canceled in the 
object, which is to say that living currency 
precedes all forms of cash. 

"As soon as the corporeal presence of the industrial 
slave has fully entered the composition of the 
assessable output of what she can produce— her 
physiognomy being inseparable from her labor— 
the distinction between the person and the activity 
of that person becomes specious. The corporeal 
presence is already a commodity, independently of 
and in addition to the commodity this presence 
contributes to producing. Henceforth industrial 
slaves either establish an intimate relation between 
their corporeal presence and the money this 
presence brings in, or else they substitute themselves 
for the function of money, being money themselves: 
at once the equivalent of wealth and the wealth 
itself" (Pierre Klossowski, Living Currency). 


Trie Young-Girl as Living Currency / 93 



In French, the verb “to fuck” is generically used to 
ref er to any activity, though with a derogative conno- 
tation. “What the fuck are you doing?” And it is a 
reality that, in all societies in which man’s activity is 
not free, to fuck occurs as freedom’s general abstract 
equivalent, the degree zero of all activity. 

It wasn’t until the Young-Girl appeared that one 
could concretely experience what it means to 
“fuck,” that is, to fuck someone without fucking 
anyone in particular. Because to fuck a being that is 
so really abstract, so utterly interchangeable, is to 
fuck in the absolute. 

If money is the king of commodities, 
the Young-Girl is their queen. 

THEY prefer silent pornstars— mute , 
without discourse— not because what 
pornstars have to say would be intol- 
erable, or excessively crude, but on 
the contrary because, when they talk, 
what they say about themselves is 
nothing but the truth of all Young- 
Girls. "X take vitamins to have nice 
hair, " one of them confides. "Taking 
care of your body is a daily job. It's 
normal, you have to work on your 
appearance, on the image people have 
of you . " 


94 / Theory of the Young-Girl 



In the final phase of the Spectacle, everything is sexually 
mediated, which is to say that coitus has been substituted as 
the ultimate goal of the utility of individual things. It is toward 
coitus that the existence of the world of the commodity now 
exclusively moves. 

"As long as free love doesn't become 
widespread, a certain number of young 
girls will always be needed to fill the 
function that prostitutes fill today" 
(Georg Simmel, Philosophie de I'amour). 

Young-Girls in the service sector, marketing, 
retail, and social services. In a near and pre- 
dictable future, all of the surplus value of the 
capitalist regime will be produced by Young-Girls. 

The currency of coitus is self-esteem. 

Every Young-Girl is an automatic, standard con- 
verter of existence into market value. 

The Young-Girl is in fact neither the 
subject nor the object of emotion, but 
its pretext. One does not get off on a 
Young-Girl, or on her getting off; one 
gets off on getting off on her. A 
wager becomes necessary. 

In many traditional cultures, money is the metaphor 
for woman, for fertility. In the time of the Young- 
Girl, woman becomes the metaphor of money. 


The Young-Girt as Living Currency / 95 



Like money, the Young-Girl is the equivalent 
of herself, referring only to herself. 

The Young-Girl is true gold, absolute cash. 


It is a unilateral-fetishistic point of view that asserts 
that “the living object that is the source of emotion, 
from the point of view of exchange, is worth its main- 
tenance cost” (Pierre Klossowski, Living Currency ). 

The time freed up by the increasing perfec- 
tion and efficiency of the instruments of production 
did not result in any decrease in “labor” time, but in 
the extension of the sphere of “labor” into the totality 
of life, and especially in the constitution and main- 
tenance of a sufficient stock of living currency, of 
available Blooms and Young-Girls, to give birth to a 
parallel and pre-regulated sexual marketplace. 

The ghostly nature of the Young-Girl echoes the 
ghostly nature of participation in this society, for 
which the Young-Girl is also the remuneration. 

Living money finally reveals the truth of commodity 
exchange, in other words, its lie: the impossibility of 
making equivalent the incommensurable in human life 
(classically coagulated in "labor time") and the inert, 
money, or any other thing, no matter what the quantity. 
For, in the end, the lie of market society has been to 
pass off what has always been a SACRIFICE as con- 
trolled exchange, and thus to claim to be settling an 
INFINITE DEBT. 


96 / Theory of the Young-Gin 



6 


THE YOUNG-GIRL AS COMPACT 
POLITICAL APPARATUS 


More distinctively, but no less fundamentally than a 
commodity, the Young-Girl constitutes an offensive 
neutralization apparatus. 

How could capitalism have managed to mobilize affects, mole- 
cularizing its power to the point of colonizing all of our feelings and 
emotions, if the Young-Girl had not offered herself as intermediary ? 

Like the economy, the Young-Girl thinks shes got us by 
the infrastructure. 

Me iniydt Aide" 

since History’s happening on the dark side. 
Biopower is available as a cream, pill, and spray. 
Seduction is the new opium of the masses. It 
is the freedom of a world without freedom, 
the joy of a world without joy. 

In the past, the terrifying example of a few liberated 
women was enough to convince the dominant powers 
of their chance to prohibit all feminine freedom. 


97 



By sentiment, by physiology, by family, by “sincerity,” 
by “health," by wants, by obedience to all social deter- 
minisms, by all means, the Young-Girl protects 
herself from liberty. 

Behind the appearance of a laughable 
neutrality, the most formidable of political 
oppression apparatuses is on view in the 
Young-Girl. 

tf our srx life normal?” 

The Young-Girl advances like a living engine, 
moved by and moving toward the Spectacle. 

Domination has discovered a bias more 
powerful than the simple power of constraint: 
directed attraction. 

The Young-Girl is the elementary 
biopolitical individuality. 

Historically, the Young-Girl appears, in her extreme 
affinity with Biopower, as the spontaneous addressee 
of all biopolitics, the one whom THEY address. 

‘Eating badly is a luxury, a sign or laziness. Disdain 

FOR THE BODY IS A COMPLETELY COMPLACENT RELATION TO 
SELF. The FEMALE WORKER MUST MAINTAIN HER BODY 
CAPITAL [GYM, POOL], WHILE FOR THE STUDENT, MORE 
IMPORTANT ARE AESTHETIC ACTIVITIES [DANCE] OR THE 
ULTIMATE PHYSICAL EXPENDITURE: THE NIGHTCLUB.” 


98 / Theory of the Young-Girl 



The function of the Young-Girl is to transform the 
promise of liberty contained in the achievement of 
Western civilization into a surplus of alienation, a 
deepening of the consumer order, new servitudes, a 
political status quo. 

The Young-Girl advances toward the same 
endpoint as Technology: the formal spiritualization 
of the world. 

Under the domination of the market, 
seduction immediately presents itself as 
the exercise of a power. 

The Young-Girl has neither opinions 
nor positions of her own. 
She takes shelter as soon as she can 

in the shadow of the victors. 

The “modern” kind of labor, in which a certain 
quantity of the labor force is no longer taken 
advantage of, but rather the docile exercise of 
certain “human qualities,” suits perfectly well the 
mimetic skills of the Young-Girl. 

The Young-Girl is the cornerstone of the system 
maintaining the market order, and is at the service 
of all its restorations. Because the Young-Girl wants 
to fuck in peace. 


The Young-Girl as Compact Political Apparatus / 99 



The Young-Girl is the ideal collaborator. 


The Young-Girl conceives liberty as the possibility of 
choosing from among a thousand insignificances. 

The Young-Girl does 
not want history. 

The Young-Girl aims for the regulation of all the senses. 


In the world of authoritarian commodities, all naive 
praise of desire immediately becomes praise of servitude. 

There is no slave of semiocracy who does not also get 
a certain power out of it, the power of judgment, blame, 
or opinion. 

The Young-Girl embodies the way in which 
capitalism has reinvested all of the necessities 
from which it had liberated men, reinvested 
them in an unrelenting adaptation of the 
human world to the abstract norms of the 
Spectacle, and in the elevation of these 
norms. Both share the morbid obsession of 
remaining, at the price of frantic activity, 
identical to themselves. 

The narrow control and excessive solicitude 
displayed by this society toward women 
expresses only its desire to reproduce itself 
identically, and to master its perpetuation. 


100 / Theory of the Young-Girl 



"The American Academy of Political and Social Sciences, 
in a publication on the role of women in modern America 
(1929), concluded that moss consumption hod mode of 
the 'modern housewife...less of o routine worker and more 
of on odministrotor ond entrepreneur in the business of 
living'" (Stuart Ewen, Captains of Consciousness: Advertising 
and the Social Roots of the Consumer Culture). 

The initial form of Biopower is a process of submis- 
sion to and by the body. 

The Spectacle keeps the body at bay through 
the excess of its evocation, just as religion 
evoked it by excessively prohibiting it. 

The Young-Girl prizes “sincerity,” “good-heartedness,” 
“kindness,” “simplicity,” “frankness,” “modesty,” and in 
general all of the virtues which, considered unilaterally, 
are synonymous with servitude. The Young-Girl lives 
in the illusion that liberty is found at the end of total 
submission to market “Advertising. ” But at the end of 
servitude there is nothing but old age and death. 

“Lberty doesn’t exist” says the Young-Girl, 

WALKING INTO THE DRUGSTORE. 

The Young-Girl wants to be “independent,” 
that is, in her spirit, dependent 
on THEM alone. 


The Young-Girl as Compact Political Apparatus / 1 01 



Any grandeur that is not also a sign of subjugation 
to the uuorld of authoritarian commodities is in that 
cose consigned to the absolute detestation of the 
Voung-Girl, mho is not afraid to speak of “arro- 
gance," “self-importance" and even "contempt." 

The Young-Girl is the central article of permissive 
consumption and commodity leisure. 

In the Spectacle, access to liberty is nothing but 
access to marginal consumption in the desire market- 
place, which constitutes its symbolic core. 

The preponderance of the entertainment and 
desire market is one stage in the project of social 
pacification, in which this market has been given 
the function of obscuring, provisionally, the living 
contradictions that traverse every point of the 
fabric of imperial biopolitics. 

The symbolic privileges accorded by the Spectacle 
to the Young-Girl are her dividends for absorbing 
and diffusing the ephemeral codes, the updated 
user's manuals, the general semiology that they 
have had to dispense in order to render politically 
harmless the free time enabled by "progress" in the 
social organization of labor. 

The Young-Girl: 

the mainspring of The Young-Girl: the agent coordinating 
^permissive discipline. " the atmosphere and liveliness 

of the dictatorial management oF leisure. 


1 02 / Theory of the Young-GM 



Deep down inside, the Young-Girl has the 
personality of a tampon: She exemplifies all 
of the appropriate indifference, all of the 
necessary coldness demanded by the condi- 
tions of metropolitan life. 


It matters little to the Spectacle that seduction is hated 
everywhere, as long as people don’t give themselves the 
idea that some plenitude could ever transcend it. 

WHEN THE SPECTACLE ATTEMPTS TO "PRAISE 
feminitiy,” OR REMARKS FAWNINGLY THE 
"FEMINIZATION OF THE WORLD,” ONE CAN 
ONLY EXPECT THE CUNNING PROMOTION 
OF ALL MANNER OF SERVITUDES, THE 
PROMOTION OF THE CONSTELLATION OF 
“VALUES” THAT SLAVES ALWAYS PRETEND 
TO ESPOUSE. 

“Etvl YotiVe gross !" 

The Young-Girl already represents the 
most effective agent of behavioral con- 
trol. Through her, the dominant power 
has insinuated itself into the farthest 
reaches of everyone’s life. 

The violence with which femininitude is adminis- 
trated in the world of authoritarian commodities 


The Young-Girl as Compact Political Apparatus / 103 



recalls the way the dominant power feels free to 
manhandle its slaves, when in fact it needs them 
to ensure its own reproduction. 

The Young-Girl isthe power against which itis barbaric, 
indecent, and even downright totalitarian to rebel. 

In the world of authoritarian commodities, 
the living recognize within themselves, 
in their alienated desires, 
the enemy’s demonstration of power. 


1 04 / Theory of the Young-Girl 



7 


THE YOUNG-GIRL AS WAR MACHINE 


The Young-Girl displays spontaneous assent to 
everything that could possibly signify subjugation 
to necessity — "life,” “society,” "work,” the education 
of a child, another Young-Girl. But this assent is 
itself determined in exclusively negative terms: 
Assent is given to these things only insofar as they 
block all individual expression. 

<ijhere is ahmufji cl ftenaL cedent^ hiding. 

behind the QJemng-i^ieUiL tdieified untile. 

The Young-Girl knows no other legitimacy than 
that of the Spectacle. Inasmuch as the Young-Girl 
is docile under the arbitrary rule of THEM, she is 
tyrannical when it comes to the living. Her sub- 
mission to the impersonality of the Spectacle gives 
her the right to submit anyone to it. 


105 



In fucking as in all other sectors of her existence, 
the Young-Girl behaves like a formidable 
mechanism for quashing negativity. 

Because the Young-Girl is the living presence of 
everything that, humanely, wants our death. She is not 
only the purest product of the Spectacle, she is the 
plastic proof of our love for it. It is through her that we 
ourselves pursue our own perdition. 

Everything she has managed ho neutralize takes its place, 
in the world oF the Young-Girl, as an BCCKSSOry. 

Seduction as war. THEY speak of “bombshells” using 
a metaphor derived less and less from aesthetic 
discourse, and more and more from that of ballistics. 

Among the troops occupying all visibility, Young- 
Girls are the infantry, the rank-and-file of the current 
dictatorship of appearances. 

The Young-Girl finds herself in a relationship 
of immediacy and affinity with everything that 
is competing to reformat humanity. 

Every Young-Girl constitutes, in her own 
way, an advanced position in the imperialism 
of the trivial. 

In terms of territory, the Young-Girl appears as the 
most powerful vector of the tyranny of servitude. 
Who can guess the fury enraging her at any sign 
of disobedience? In this sense, a certain type of 
totalitarian social democracy suits her marvelously. 


106 / Theory of the Young -Giri 



The violence 
of the Young-Girl 
is proportional 

to her del i cate 

empti ness . 

It is through the Young-Girl that capitalism has 
managed to extend its hegemony to the totality of 
social life. She is the most obstinate pawn of market 
domination in a war whose objective remains the 
total control of daily life and “production” time. 

It is precisely because she represents the total 
acculturation of the self, because she defines herself 
in terms fixed by extraneous judgment, that the 
Young-Girl constitutes the most advanced carrier 
of the ethos and the abstract behavioral norms of 
the Spectacle. 

“One would have to create a major educational project 
(perhaps on the model of the Chinese or Khmer Koupc) , with 
labor camps where hoys would learn, under the direction of 
competent women, die responsibilities and secrets of domestic life. " 

The insignificance of the Young-Girl certainly 
reflects a situation of infantilization and oppres- 
sion, yet she also has an imperialist and triumphant 
quality. This is because the Young-Girl fights for 
Empire, her master. 

Unlike the young girls of Babylon, who, 
according to Strabo, willingly gave the temple the 


I he Young-Girt as War Machine / 107 



money they made from prostitution, the Young-Girl 
unwittingly turns her profits over to the Spectacle. 

"Furthermore, it was here that the school- 
girl's real pandemonium began: behind 
these letters there was a heap of confiden- 
tial letters from judges, attorneys, public 
prosecutors, pharmacists, businessmen, 
urban and rural citizens, doctors and such, 
from those high and mighty who had always 
impressed me so! I stood there aston- 
ished [...] Did th ese men, pretense 
notwithstanding, socialize with the school- 
girl! 'Unbelievable/ I went on repeating, 
'unbelievable!' Were they so oppressed by 
their Maturity that, unbeknownst to their 
wives and children, they had to send long 
letters to a modern schoolgirl? [...] These 
letters made me finally realize the extent of 
the schoolgirl's power. Where wasn't it 
present?" (Witold Gombrowicz, Ferdydurke ) 

The Young-Girl is a procedure of metaphysical 
sequestering, which is to say that one is never 
imprisoned by her, but always in her. 

The Young-Girl is a summons to everyone 
to ensure they are worthy of the images 
of the Spectacle. 


1 08 / Theory of the Young-Girl 



The Young-Girl 

is an instrument 

in service to a general politics 

of the extermination 

of beings 

capable 

of love. 


Identical in this 
to the alienated social 
whole, 
the Young-Girl 
hates sorrow 
because sorrow 
condemns her 
just as it condemns 


this society. 

The Young-Girl works to propagate 


a Terrorism of entertainment. 


— How many cops does it take to make a Young- 
Girl crack a childish smile? 

— Even more, EVEN MORE, 

EVEN MORE... 

The Young-Girl's vocabulary is also that of 
Total Mobilization. 

“Loyalty, 

you’d better.” 

The Young-Girl is part of the new lifestyle- 
police, making sure that each person fulfills his or 
her function , and sticks exclusively to it. The Young- 
Girl never enters into contact with a singular being, 
but rather with a set of qualities objectivized in a 


The Young-Girl as War Machine / 109 



role, a character, or a social situation to which one 
is supposed to conform no matter what the cir- 
cumstance. Thus the person with whom she shares 
her own little alienated daily life will always remain 
“this guy” or “that girl.” 

The Young-Girl covets commodities with an 
eye filled with envy, because she sees her prototype 
in them, that is, she sees herself, only more perfect. 
What remains of her humanity is not only what 
she lacks in commodity perfection, it is also the 
cause of all her suffering. It is this remaining 
humanity, therefore, that she must eradicate. 

With unfeigned bitterness the Young-Girl reproaches 
reality for failing to measure up to the Spectacle. 

The ignorance with which the Young-Girl plays 
her role as cornerstone of the present system of 
domination L) part of the role. 

The Young-Girl is a pawn in the all-out war being 
waged by the dominant order for the eradication of 
all alterity. The Young-Girl declares it explicitly: 
She’s “horrified by negativity.” When she says this, 
she is, like Spinoza’s stone, persuaded that it is she 
herself who is speaking. 

The Young-Girl wears a mask, and, when she 
confesses to doing so, it is invariably to suggest that 
she also has a "true face" that she will not, or 


110/ Theory of the Young-Girl 



cannot, show. But this "true face" is still a mask, 
a terrifying mask: the true face of domination. 
Indeed, as soon as the Young-Girl "lets the mask 
fall," Empire is speaking to you live. 

. . and what/ if u/e/ eliminated guys/ fiam/ the/ planet/? ^Why/ 
toy/ to/ (jet/ something new/ out/ of the/oldl Sieh/ofquys/7 ^et/ 
lid of them/! c Yho/ point/ yettiny/ annoyed/ — historically/, 
genetically/, man/ has/ done/ his/ time/, ^He/s/ Leaving/ the/ staye/ 
alt/ hy himself 

Every Young-Girl is her own modest purification 
business. 

Taken together, Young-Girls constitute the most 
lethal commando THEY have ever maneuvered 
against heterogeneity, against every hint of deser- 
tion. At the same time, they mark, at every instant, 
the most advanced position of Biopower, its poi- 
sonous solicitude, and its cybernetic pacification of 
everything. In the hungry gaze of the Young-Girl, 
each thing and each being, organic and inorganic, 
looks as though it could become possessed, or at 
least consumed. Everything she sees, she sees as 
and thus transforms into a commodity. It is in this 
sense that she also represents an advanced position 
in the infinite offensive of the Spectacle. 

The Young-Girl is the void that they maintain in 
order to hide the vividness 
of the VOld. 


The Young-Girl as War Machine / 111 



^toke/ c lj aunty- c ^i/iA daesn/ 1 li&e/ lucw, 

sAe/ maAea it. 


THE YOUNG-GIRL IS THE ULTIMATE SLAVERY 
THROUGH WHICH EMPIRE HAS OBTAINED 
ITS SLAVES’ SILENCE. 

It is not enough to know that the Young-Girl speaks 
the language of the Spectacle. It must be further 
noted that this is the only language she can under- 
stand, and that she thus requires all those who do not 
loathe it to speak it. 

The semiocratic authorities, who demand 
ever more insistently an aesthetic assent to 
their world, pride themselves in their 
ability to pass off whatever they please as 
“beautiful.” But this “beauty” is only socially 
controlled desire. 

“SICK OF GUYS? GET A DOG! You’re what, 18, 20? You’re 
heading off to college to study long and hard? You think 
this is the time to lose your momentum by desperately 
looking for affection from a boy who’s got nothing to give? 
Or worse! Get stuck with an undeveloped boyfriend who’s 
not very mature, not very nice, and not always clean ...” 

The Young-Girl delivers conformity to all of the 
fleeting norms of the Spectacle, and also offers the 
example of such conformity. 


112/ theory of the Ybung-Girl 



Like everything that has achieved symbolic hege- 
mony, the Young-Girl condemns as barbaric all 
physical violence directed against her aspiration of 
society’s total pacification. She and the dominant 
power are obsessed with security. 

The aspect of the war-machine so striking in every 
Young-Girl lies in the fact that she leads her life in 
a way no different from the way she wages war. But 
on the other hand, her pneumatic void already fore- 
shadows her future militarization. She no longer 
defends only her private monopoly of desire, but in 
a general sense, the state of alienated public articu- 
lation of all desire. 

It is not their “instinctive drives” that imprison 
people within the Spectacle, but the laws of what is 
desirable which they have inscribed into the flesh. 

The Young-Girl has declared war on GERMS. 

The Young-Girl has declared war on CHANCE. 

The Young-Girl has declared war on PASSION. 

The Young-Girl has declared war on TIME. 

The Young-Girl has declared war on FAT. 

The Young-Girl has declared war on OBSCURITY. 
The Young-Girl has declared war on WORRY. 

The Young-Girl has declared war on SILENCE. 

The Young-Girl has declared war on POLITICS. 

And finally, 

THE YOUNG-GIRL HAS BECLARED WAR UN WAR. 


The Young Gs! as War Machs# / 1 13 



8 


THE YOUNG-GIRL AGAINST COMMUNISM 


The Young-Girl privatizes everything she appre- 
hends. Thus, a philosopher is not a philosopher 
to her, but an extravagant erotic object, and like- 
wise, a revolutionary is not a revolutionary, but 
costume jewelry. 

The Young-Girl is an article of consump- 
tion, a device for maintaining order, a 
producer of sophisticated merchandise, 
an unprecedented propagator of Spectacular 
codes, an avant-garde of alienation, 
and also, an entertainment. 

The yes that the Young-Girl says to life expresses 
only her blind hate when faced with what is superior 
to time. 

When the Young-Girl speaks of community, it is 
always as a last resort the community of the species, 
or of all living things, that she’s thinking of it. She 


114 



never has a particular community in mind: after all, 
she would necessarily be excluded from it. 

Even when she thinks she is engaging 
her whole “self’ in a relationship, the 
Young-Girl is mistaken, because she fails 
to also engage her Nothingness. Thus, 
her dissatisfaction. Thus, her “friends.” 

Because she discovers the world through the eyes 
of commodities, the Young-Girl sees in beings 
only what resembles commodities. Conversely, 
she considers the most personal in herself what 
is the most generic: coitus. 

The Young-Girl wants to be loved for who she is, 
that is, for what isolates her. This is why she 
always maintains, in the very depths of her ass, an 
evaluative distance. 

The Young-Girl epitomizes nothingness, the 
paradox, and of the tragedy of visibility. 

The Young-Girl is the privileged vehicle 
of socio-commodity Darwinism. 

The continuous pursuit of sex is a manifestation of 
false substantiality. Its truth must not be sought in 
“pleasure,” “hedonism,” “the sexual instinct,” or any other 
of the existential content Bloom has so definitively 


The Young-Gi:1 Against Communism / 1 15 



emptied of meaning, but rather in the frenzied search 
for some connection with a now inaccessible social 
whole. It is a matter, here, of giving oneself a feeling of 
participation , via the exercise of the most generic activity 
there is, the one that is most intimately linked to the 
reproduction of the species. This is the reason the 
Young-Girl is the most common and most sought-after 
object in this pursuit, because she is the incarnation of the 
Spectacle , or at least she aspires to be. 

To hear the Young-Girl talk, the question of 
ultimate ends becomes superfluous. 

In a general sense, all false substantialities sponta- 
neously earn the Young-Girl’s favor. Some, however, 
are preferred by her. This goes for all of the pseudo- 
identities that can claim “biological” content (age, sex, 
height, race, menstruation, health, etc.). 

The Young-Girl postulates an irrevocable intimacy 
with everything that shares her physiology. Her 
function is thus to maintain the dying flame of 
the illusions of immediacy upon which Biopower 
comes to depend. 

The Young-Girl is the termite of the “material,” the 
marathon runner of the “everyday.” Domination has 
made her into the privileged carrier of the ideology of 
the “concrete.” Not only does she thrive on “easy,” 


116/ Theory of the Young-Giri 



“simple,” “real life”; but she also considers the 
“abstract,” the “hassle,” as evils it would be judicious to 
eradicate. Yet what she calls the “concrete” is itself, in 
its savage unilateralism, the most abstract. It is the 
shield of wilted flowers hiding the progress of that for 
which she has been conceived: the violent negation of 
metaphysics. Not only does she resent what she 
doesn’t understand, it infuriates her. Her hatred for 
what is great, for what is beyond the grasp of the 
consumer, is immeasurable. 

The Young-Girl uses the “concrete" to keep herself from 

succumbing to the metaphysical feeling of her nothingness. 

"Evil is whatever distracts” (Kafka). 

In truth, the “love of life” on which the Young-Girl 
prides herself is nothing but her hatred of danger. Her 
pride thus only reveals her determination to maintain 
immediacy with what she calls “life”; which, more 
precisely, means “life in the Spectacle.” 

Among all the aporias whose pretentious accumula- 
tion constitutes Western metaphysics, the most 
durable seems to be the formation, by repudiation, of 
a sphere of “bare life.” There is supposed to be, 
beyond qualified — political, presentable — human 
existence, an abject, indistinct, unqualifiable sphere 
of “bare life”: reproduction, domestic economy, the 


The Young-Girl Against Communism / 1 1 7 



maintenance of vital faculties, heterosexual coupling , 
or food, all things that THEY have associated, as much 
as possible, with “feminine identity,” converging in 
this primordial swamp. Young-Girls have only redi- 
rected the signs of an operation that they have left 
otherwise unchanged. It is thus that they have forged 
a very curious species of commonality which THEY 
would call the being-for-life, if THEY knew that the 
common point of Western metaphysics had been 
belatedly identified as the being-for-death. So much 
so that Young-Girls have become persuaded that they 
are united most profoundly by physiology, daily life, 
psychology, bedroom gossip, and THEM. The repeated 
failure of their love affairs, like their friendships, 
seems incapable of opening their eyes, nor can it make 
them see that that is precisely what keeps them apart. 

Against finitude, the Young-Girl opposes the 
groaning of her organs. Against solitude, the con- 
tinuity of the living. And against the tragedy of 
exposure, the sense that it's good to get noticed. 

Like the beings that constitute its terms, the rela- 
tionships that develop in the Spectacle are deprived 
both of content and meaning. If only the lack of 
meaning, so obvious throughout the Young-Girl’s 
life drove her insane; but no, it only leaves her in her 
state of terminal nonsense. The establishment of 
these terms is not dictated by actual usage — strictly 


118/ Theory of the Young-Girl 



speaking, Young-Girls have nothing to do together — 
nor is it dictated by their taste, however unilateral, 
for one another — even their tastes do not belong to 
them — but by symbolic utility alone, which makes 
each partner a sign of the happiness of the other, the 
paradisiac completeness that it is the Spectacle’s aim 
to continuously redefine. 

Naturally, it is by becoming an argu- 
ment for Total Mobilization that 
seduction has taken the form of the 
job interview and "love" a kind of 
mutual, private employment— with 
job security for the lucky ones. 

"Don't worry!" 

The Young-Girl punishes no betrayal more 

SEVERELY THAN THAT OF THE YOUNG-GlRL WHO 
DESERTS THE CORPS OF YOUNG-GIRLS, OR EVEN 
ATTEMPTS TO FREE HERSELF FROM IT. 

The Young-Girl’s essential activity not only consists 
in separating the “professional” from the “personal,” 
the “social” from the “private,” the “emotional” from 
the “useful,” the “reasonable” from the “crazy,” the 
“everyday” from the “exceptional,” etc., but above all of 
embodying these distinctions in her “life.” 


The Young -Girl Against Communism / 1 19 



~thc '/Jonin/Cjiel eon well $ peak o/ death; 
she will imuu'iaMij conclude that aftee nil , 

“thall life.” 


The Young-Girl “loves life,” which really 

means that she hates all fornu-of-Life. 

The Mny-tfinl to. Cihe evefufthiny that ofieaho- Cove 
in a, oaciety that ctoeo- evenythinq- to- tenden it utterly 
imfioooihte: She Cieo in the name, a £ domination. 

What the Young-Girl’s “youth” designates is nothing 
but a certain obstinacy in negating fmitude. 

The Young-Girl’s ass is 
a global village. 

When she speaks of "peace” and "happiness," the 
Young-Girl's face is that of death. Her negativity is not of 
the spirit, but of the inert. 

The Young-Girl possesses a singular connection 
to bare life, in all its forms. 

The Young-Girl has entirely rewritten the book 
of deadly sins. On the first page, she has written, in 
cute calligraphy, 

“Solitude.” 

The Young-Girl swims holding 
her breath through immanence. 


1 20 / Theory of the Young-Girl 



9 


THE YOUNG-GIRL AGAINST HERSELF: 
THE YOUNG-GIRL AS IMPOSSIBILITY 


That the Spectacle would have finally reached the 
absurd metaphysical conception according to which 
everything is supposed to issue from its Idea and not 
the opposite — this is a superficial view. In the Young- 
Girl, we clearly see just how THEY obtain a reality 
such that it seems to be nothing but the materializa- 
tion of its concept: THEY amputate it from everything 
that would make it singular to the point of making it 
similar in poverty to an idea. 

This human foreignness to the world of commodities 
relentlessly pursues the Young-Girl and constitutes, 
for her, the supreme menace, “ menace that, factually, 
is in no way incompatible with complete security and 
the complete absence of need in the order of eveiyday 
preoccupation (Martin Heidegger). This anguish, 
which is the fundamental mode of being of whosoever 
can no longer inhabit his or her world, is the central, 


121 



universal, and hidden truth of the era of the Young- 
Girl, and of the Young-Girl herself: hidden, because 
it is when she is shut away at home, far from any 
gaze, that she sobs and sobs. For she who is gnawed 
by nothingness, this anguish is the other name for the 
solitude, the silence, and dissimulation that are her 
metaphysical condition, which she has such a hard 
time getting used to. 

For the Voung-Girl as For all other Blooms, the 
craving For entertainment is rooted in anguish. 

Sometimes the Young-Girl is bare life, and sometimes 
she is death dressed up. In fact, she is that which 
constantly holds both together. 

The Young-Girl is closed up on herself; 
this fascinates at first, 

and then it begins to rot. 

ANOREXIA IS INTERPRETED AS A 
FANATICISM OF DETACHMENT THAT, 
GIVEN THE IMPOSSIBILITY OF ANY 
METAPHYSICAL PARTICIPATION IN 
THE WORLD OF COMMODITIES, SEEKS 
ACCESS TO A PHYSICAL PARTICIPATION 
IN IT, WHICH, OF COURSE, FAILS. 

“Spirituality: our new need? Is there a 
hidden mystic in all of us?” 


1 22 / The ory of the Young-Girl 



Self-interest is but the apparent motive of theYoung- 
Girl’s behavior. In the act of selling herself, she is 
trying to acquit herself of herself, or at least have 
them acquit her. But this never happens. 

Anorexia expresses in women the same aporia that 
is manifest in men in the form of the pursuit of 
power: the will to mastery. It is only that, because 
of the greater severity of the culture’s patriarchal 
codification upon women, the anorexic brings the 
will to mastery to bear upon her body, for she cannot 
bring it to bear on the rest of the world. A pan- 
demic similar to the one we see today among 
Young-Girls emerged at the heart of the Middle 
Ages among the saints. Against the world that 
would reduce her to her body, the Young-Girl 
opposes her sovereignty over her body. In the 
same way, the saint opposed the patriarchal 
mediation of the clergy to her own direct com- 
munion with God; she opposed the dependency 
through which THEY would have liked to keep her 
to her radical independence from the world. In 
saintly anorexia, “the suppression of physical urges 
and basic feelings — fatigue, sexual drive, hunger, 
pain — frees the body to achieve heroic feats and 
the soul to commune with God” (Rudolph Bell, 
Holy A norexia ) . 

Now that the medical profession has replaced 
the clergy in the patriarchal order as well as at the 


The Young-Gai Against Haself/ 123 



bedside of the anorexic Young-Girl, the cure 
rates for what THEY have rapidly named “anorexia 
nervosa” are still exceptionally low, in spite of 
considerable therapeutic perseverance here as 
elsewhere; only in a few countries has the mortality 
rate fallen below 15%. For the death of the 
anorexic, whether she is holy or “mental,” only 
sanctions her final victory over her body, over the 
world. As in the intoxication of a hunger strike 
pushed to the end, the Young-Girl finds in death 
the ultimate affirmation of her detachment and 
purity. “[...] the anorexics struggle against feeling 
enslaved, exploited, and not being permitted to 
lead a life of their own. They would rather starve 
than continue a life of accommodation. In this 
blind search for a sense of identity and selfhood, 
they will not accept anything that their parents or 
the world around them has to offer. [... In what] 
I shall refer to as genuine or primary anorexia 
nervosa, the main issue is a struggle for control, 
for a sense of identity, competence and effectiveness” 
(Hilde Bruch, Eating Disorders: Obesity , Anorexia 
Nervosa , and the Person Within). 

“Indeed,” concludes the postscript to Holy 
Anorexia , “ anorexia could be seen as a tragic caricature 
of the disconnected, self-sufficient female, unable to 
affiliate and driven by an obsessive desire for power 
and mastery” 


1 24 / Theory oi She Young-Girl 



There is indeed an objectivity of 
the Young-Girl, but it is an imaginary 
objectivity. She is a contradiction 
frozen in tomblike immobility. 

Whatever she says, it is not the right to 
happiness that the Young- Girl is denied, 
but the right to unhappiness. 

Whatever the happiness of the Young-Girl might be in 
each of the separated aspects of her existence (work, 
love, sex, leisure, health, etc.), she must remain essentially 
unhappy precisely because these aspects are separated. 

Unhappiness is the fundamental mood 
of the existence of the Young-Girl. 

This is good. 

Unhappiness makes people consume. 

The suffering and unhappiness intrinsic to the 
Young-Girl demonstrate the impossibility of any end 
of History in which men would content themselves 
with being the most intelligent of the animal species, 
renouncing all discursive consciousness, all desire for 
recognition, any exercise of their negativity, the 
impossibility, in a word, of the American way of life. 

When she hears talk of negativity, the Young- 
Girl calls her therapist. She has all kinds of tuords 
to avoid talking about metaphysics tuhen it has 
the bad taste to make itself heard too distinctly: 
“psychosomatic" is one of them. 


The Young-Girl Against Herself / 1 25 



Like the model that she has necessarily, at one 
moment or another, dreamed of becoming, the 
Young- Girl aims at total inexpressivity, at ecstatic 
absence, but the image has been sullied by its incar- 
nation, and the Young-Girl manages only to express 
the void, the living void, seething and oozing, the 
humid void — until she vomits. 

The cyborg as supreme and immuno- 
deficient stage of the Young-Girl. 

The Young-Girl gets depressed because she would 
like to be a thing like other things, that is, like other 
things seen from outside, though she can never quite 
manage it; because she would like to be a sign, to 
circulate without friction through the gigantic 
semiocratic metabolism. 

The whole life of the Young-Girl coincides with 
what she wants to forget. 

The apparent sovereignty of the Young-Girl is also 
the absolute vulnerability of the separated individual, 
the weakness and isolation that nowhere find either 
the shelter, security, or protection they seem to be 
seeking everywhere. Indeed, the Young-Girl lives 
forever “hot on her own tail,” that is, in fear. 


The Young-Girl presents us with the authentic 
enigma of happy servitude, in which we are not quite 
able to believe. The mystery of the radiant slave. 


1 26 / Theory oi the Young-Girl 



The pursuit of happiness summarizes, as its effect but 
also as its cause, the unhappiness of the Young-Girl. 
The Young-Girl’s frenzy over appearances manifests 
her craving for substance that can find nothing on 
which to slake itself. 

All the elegance of the Voung-Girl never manages 
to make one forget her invincible vulgarity. 

“Everybody beautiful, 
everything organic!” 

The Young- Girl wants the best of all worlds. 
Unfortunately the “best of all worlds” is not possible. 
The Young-Girl dreams of a body that would be 
purely transparent to the lights of the Spectacle. In all, 
she dreams of being nothing more than the idea THEY 
have of her. 

Frigidity is the truth of nymphomania, impotence is 
the truth of Don Juan, anorexia is the truth of bulimia. 

Because in the Spectacle, where the 
appearance of happiness also functions as 
its sine qua non condition, the duty to simu- 
late happiness is the way to all suffering. 

The translucent nonexistence of the Young-Girl 
attests to the false transcendence she personifies. 

what the Young-Girl demonstrates is that no 
beautiful surface is without its terrible depth. 


The Young-Girl Against Herself / 1 27 



The Young-Girl is the emblem of an existential 
anguish expressed in the unfounded feeling of 
permanent insecurity. 

The Spectacle consents to speak of sexual mis- 
ery, in order to stigmatize people’s incapacity to 
exchange one another like perfect commodities. 

It is tme that the obstinate imperfection of the 
marketplace of seduction is worrying. 

The anorexic scorns the things of this world in the only 
way that makes her more contemptible than they are. 

Like so many other of our unhappy contemporaries, the 
Young-Girl has taken the aporias of Western metaphysics 
literally. And it is in vain that she seeks to give herself 
form as bare life. 


The extreme extent 
of male 
impotence, of 
female frigidity 
or rather 

of vaginal dryness 
can be interpreted 
immediately as 
contradictions 
of capitalism. 


1 28 / Theory 01 the Young-Gill 



Anorexia expresses, at the level of the commodity, 
the most incontinent disgust for them, and for 
the vulgarity of all wealth. In all of her bodily 
manifestations, the Young-Girl signifies an 
impatient rage to abolish matter and time. She is 
a body without soul dreaming she's a soul 
without a body. 

“[. . .] the onset of Saint Catherine of Siena’s 
anorexia was a consequence [ . .] of psychic factors, 
in her case her will to conquer bodily urges that 
she considered base obstructions in her path of 
holiness” (Rudolph Bell, Holy Anorexia) . 

In anorexia, we must see much more than a 
fashionable pathology: the desire to free oneself 
from a body entirely colonized by commodity 
symbolism, to reduce to nothing a physical objec- 
tivity the Young-Girl wholly lacks. 

But this leads, finally, only in her making a new body 
from the negation of the body. 

Sn tne anorexic Young-Girl, as in the ascetic ideal, the 

SAME HATRED Of THE FLESH, AND THE FANTASY OF REDUCING 
ONESELF TO PHYSICAL PURITY: THE SKELETON. 

The Young-Girl suffers from what we could call 
the “angel complex”: She aspires to a perfection 
that would consist in having no body. She can read 


The Young-Giil Against Herself/ 129 



the unilateralism of commodity metaphysics 
whenever she steps onto a scale. 

The anorexic seeks the absolute in her own way, that 
is, she seeks the worst of absolutes in the worst way. 

Bloom's desire, and consequently the Young-Girls, is not for 

bodies, but for essences. 

The absolute vulnerability of the Young-Girl 
is that of the shopkeeper, whose merchandise 
can be stolen by any uncontrollable force. 

The Young-Girl is a “metaphysical” creature in 
the adulterated, modern sense of the term. She 
would not submit her body to such ordeals, to 
such cruel penance, if she weren’t fighting 
against it as though it were the devil himself, if 
she didn’t yearn to submit it entirely to form, to 
the ideal, to the dead perfection of abstraction. 
This metaphysics is ultimately nothing but the 
hatred of the physical, conceived here as simply 
the other side of metaphysics. 

"HOWTO DRESS 
ORGANICALLY." 

The Young-Girl is the commodity's 
ultimate attempt at transcending 
itself. It fails miserably. 


130/ Theory of the Young-Girt 



10 


PUTTING AN END TO THE YOUNG-GIRL 


The Young-Girl is a reality as massive and crumbly 
as the Spectacle. 

Like all transitory forms, the Young-Girl is an 
oxymoron. She is thus the first case of asceticism 
without ideal, of materialist penance. 

Cowardly devoted to the whims of the Young- 
Girl, we have learned to disdain her while 
obeying her. 

The sexual misery of today in no way resembles 
that of the past, because it is now bodies without 
desires that burn for not being able to satisfy them. 

In the course of its metastasized development, 
seduction has lost in intensity what it has gained by 
extension. Never has amorous discourse been so 
poor as when everyone made it their duty to intone 
it and comment upon it. 


131 



The Young-Girl does not have 
the face of a dead girt, as one 
might think from reading 
avant-garde women’s maga- 
zines. but of death itself. 

E veryone seeks to sell him or herself, 
but nobody manages to do so convincingly. 

Contrary to what might seem to be happening, at 
first glance, the rapist does not struggle with a 
particular woman or man, but with sexuality itself, 
as an authority of control. 

Upon its emergence, the naked body of the 
Young-Girl succeeded in producing a sense of 
truth. Since then, we have vainly sought such a 
power in ever younger bodies. 

The charms we no longer find in the Young-Girl are 
the exact measure of what we have already managed 
to liquidate in her. 

The question is not of the emancipation of the 
Young-Girl, but of emancipation in relation to 
the Young-Girl. 

■ n certain extreme cases, one sees the Young- 
I Girl turning the void within her against the 
world that made her what she is. The pure void 
of her form, her profound hostility to everything 
that is, will condense into explosive blocs of 
negativity. She will have to ravage everything 


132 1 Theoiy of the Young-Girt 



that surrounds her. The barren expanse that sub- 
stitutes for interiority will long to reduce some 
stretch of Empire to equivalent desolation. "Give 
me a bomb, I have to die," exalted a Russian 
nihilist in the last century, begging to be given 
the suicide attack on Grand-Duke Sergei. 

For the Young- Girl, as for a man in power, who 
in every way resemble each other when they 
don’t simply coincide, de-subjectivation cannot 
avoid a collapse, a collapse in oneself. Differences 
in the height of the fall simply measure the gulf 
between the fullness of social being and the 
extreme anemia of singular being; in other 
words, finally, the poverty of the relation to 
the self. And yet, there is, in the one’s 
destitution, the power that lacks in the 
completeness of the other. 

“But I had to remove the aura in which man looks to 
wreathe this other female figure, the apparently imma- 
terial young girl deprived of sensuality, by showing 
that she is precisely the same kind of mother, and that 
virginity is, by definition, as foreign to her as to a 
courtesan. Indeed, the study also shows that maternal 
love itself has no moral value attached to it” (Otto 
Weininger, Sex and Character) . 

Rarely has an epoch been so violently shaken by 
desires, and rarely has desire been so empty. 


Putting an End to the Young-Girl / 1 33 



The Young-Girl makes one think of the monu- 
mentally of platonic architecture looming over the 
present; it gives only a fleeting idea of eternity, for 
it is already cracking. Occasionally the Young-Girl 
also makes one think of something else: a hovel, 
invariably. 

7 COm DESTROY THE SCH001GIRL 'S MODERNITY BY INTRODUCING INTO 
IT FOREIGN AND HETEROGENEOUS EIEMENTS, SCR AM BUNG EVERYTHING UP 
FOR ALL IT WAS WORTH’ [WlTOLD GOMBROWICZ, FERDYDURKE). 

Beneath the apparent disorder of the desires of the 
Caserne Babylone the order of self-interest reigns 
supreme. But the order of self-interest itself is only 
a secondary reality, whose justification does not lie 
in itself, but in the desire for desire found at the 
foundation of every failed life. 

Changes in the Young-Girl symmetrically follow 
the evolution of capitalist modes of production. 
Thus, over the past thirty years, we have passed, little 
by little, from Fordist seduction, with its designated 
sites and moments, its static and proto-bourgeois 
couple-form, to post-Fordist seduction, diffuse, flexible, 
precarious and deritualized, which has extended the 
couple factory to the entire body and the whole of 
social time-space. At this particularly advanced stage 
ofTotal Mobilization, each of us is called on to main- 
tain our “seduction power,” the substitute for “labor 
power,” such that, on the sexual marketplace, we can 
be fired and rehired at any moment. 


1 34 / Theory' of the Young-Girl 



The Young-Girl mortifies her flesh in order to 
take revenge on Biopower and the symbolic violence 
to which the Spectacle subjects it. 

The distress she exhibits overwhelmingly reveals, 
in its former aspect of unshakeable positivity, sexual 
pleasure as the most metaphysical of physical pleasures. 

"Some make sophisticated, hip, 'trendy' 
magazines. We've made a healthy maga- 
zine: fresh, airy, filled with blue skies and 
organic fields, a magazine more authentic 
than nature itself." 

THE YOUNG-GIRL IS ENTIRELY CONSTRUCTED. 

THIS IS WHY SHE CAN ALSO BE ENTIRELY DESTROYED. 

It is only in her suffering that the Young-Girl is 
lovable. There is, evidently, a subversive power in 
trauma. 

The success of the mimetic logic that has carried the 
Young-Girl to her present triumph also contains the 
necessity of her extinction. 

It is finally the inflation of Young-Girls that will have 
most surely undermined the efficacy of each of them. 

The theory of the Young-Girl partici- 
pates in the training of a gaze that knows 
how to hate the Spectacle wherever it 
hides, that is, wherever it shows itself. 


Putting an End to the Young-Girl / 135 



Who, aside from a few halfwit stragglers, can still 
be seriously moved in the face of “ the ruse, the 
device by which he knows how to insinuate him- 
self into the heart of the Young-Girl, the influence 
he knows how to hold over her, finally, the fasci- 
nating, calculated, and methodical character of 
seduction” (Soren Kierkegaard)? 



/Ae 

tmAowed, io- tAv 


The spread of the seduction relation into all social 
activities signals the death of whatever was still 
living within it. The spread of simulation is also 
what renders seduction more and more obviously 
impossible. Now is the time of the greatest 
unhappiness, the streets fdled with heartless sen- 
sualists, seducers mourning for seduction, the 
corpses of desires nobody knows what to do with. 
It would be a physical phenomenon, like a loss of 
aura. As though the electrification of bodies, an 
intense separation had caused, began to spread to 
the point of disappearance. Out of this, a new 
proximity would emerge, and new distances. 


A total exhaustion of desire 
would mean the end of the market society 
and, for that matter, of all society. 


1 36 / Theory of the Young-Girt 



"As a general thesis, social progress and 
changes in time periods occur because of the 
progress of women toward liberty" (Francois 
Marie Charles Fourier). 

When the Young-Girl has exhausted all artifice, there is 
one final artifice left for her: the renunciation of artifice. 
But this last one really is the final one. 

In making itself the Trojan Horse of worldwide 
domination, desire has emptied itself of everything 
that smacked of domesticity, cosiness, privacy. The 
precondition of totalitarian reconfiguration of what 
is desirable has been its autonomy from every real 
object and all particular content. In learning to 
train itself on essences, desire has become, despite 
itself, an absolute desire, a desire for the absolute 
that nothing earthly can quench. 

This unquenchability is the central lever of con- 
sumption, and of its subversion. 

A communization of bodies is to be expected. 

Does the everyday 

occurrence 

of the Young-Girl 

still go without saying? 


Putting an End to the Young-Girl / 137 





The Young-Girl is currently the most luxurious of the goods that 
circulate on the market of perishable commodities, 


the beacon-commodity of the fifth industrial revolution which 
enables the sale of all the others, from life insurance to nuclear 




power, the monstrous and very real dream of the most intrepid, 
the most fantastical of retailers: 


autonomous commodities that walk, talk, and silence, the 
thing that is finally alive, that no longer seizes life, but digests it. 




Three thousand years of 
tireless labor by thousands 
of plump shopkeepers, 


i 


generation after generation finding their crowning achievement 
in the Young-Girl: for she is the commodity one is forbidden 
to bum, the stock that engenders itself, the inalienable and 




•espect, death roiling in itself, she is the law and the police at 
:he same time... Who has not, in a flash, seen in her decisive 
and funereal beauty the sex appeal of the inorganic? 


nontransferable property for which one must still pay, the virtue 
that relentlessly makes money; she is the slut who demands 




Concepts made for war do not call for unanimity. 
And it is only natural that they should be con- 
demned for the ignominious realities they reveal. 
As for those who have shut their eyes to the sheer 
and massive fact of the Young-Girl, what difference 
could a little more blindness make? 

The Young-Girl is herself the product of 
misogyny, but the theory of the Young-Girl is not. 
Open up any women’s magazine and you’ll see for 
yourself. 

The Young-Girl is not always young and, 
increasingly, not even a girl. She is but the figure of 
total integration into a disintegrating social whole. 

When morons, against all the evidence to the 
contrary, protest that “The world is not a com- 
modity!” and, for that matter, neither are they, 
they are feigning a virginity that only proves 
their impotence. 

We want nothing to do with this virginity nor 
this impotence. 

We propose a different sentimental education. 


I 


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ISBN-13: 978-1-58435-108-5